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OpenAI taps former Apple designer for ‘AI iPhone’ venture

OpenAI is in talks with Jony Ive, an ex-design chief renowned for Apple’s most iconic products, including the iPhone and MacBook. (Unsplash pic)

WASHINGTON: Apple’s former lead designer Jony Ive is in talks to team up with ChatGPT creator OpenAI to create an “iPhone of Artificial Intelligence”, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Citing three unnamed sources, the report said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman had turned to Ive’s company LoveFrom to develop what would be the ChatGPT creator’s first consumer device.

The project would be financed with an investment of US$1 billion by Japanese conglomerate Softbank, with its chip design company Arm playing a key role.

Talks to develop the project were said to be serious, but that the process of narrowing down a specific product remained at an early stage “with many different ideas on the table”, the report said.

The sources said it could still take months for the venture to be officially agreed and that any product would take years to reach the market.

Ive served as the chief design officer at Apple from 1997 to 2019, playing a key role in the design of some of Apple’s most iconic products, including the iPhone and MacBook.