Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Smartphone news

Jony Ive, OpenAI and Softbank May Join Forces for New AI Smartphone: Report

A trio of bold-faced names in tech—Jony Ive, OpenAI and Softbank—are reportedly close to teaming up to create a smartphone centered around artificial intelligence. 

OpenAI has held “advanced talks” with financiers to fund a new venture to build the “iPhone of artificial intelligence,” the Financial Times reports. Other conversations include Softbank, a major investment group within the tech world that could badly use a hit, and Jony Ive, the former Apple executive who designed many of the company’s hit products over three decades.

Ive has held brainstorming sessions with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman over what a consumer device running on the AI company’s large language model would look like. OpenAI has quickly emerged as a leader during the surging interest in AI, and this smartphone news comes days after another big headline: OpenAI hopes to fetch as much as a $90 billion valuation in a new equity sale, roughly triple the valuation placed on the startup just months ago.

Softbank, meanwhile, could invest as much as $1 billion into the venture and hopes to ensure that Arm, a chipmaker within its portfolio, receives a central role in developing the hardware. Softbank and its CEO Masayoshi Son have experienced a hard few years with several of the company’s most prominent bets fizzling, including WeWork and Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange.


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