Inching Closer to OpenAI’s Debut Hardware


Sam Altman and renowned iPhone designer Jony Ive are rumored to be collaborating on OpenAI’s inaugural hardware project. Recent reports suggest a significant step forward in bringing this secretive endeavor to fruition, with Altman and Ive enlisting Apple’s design chief, Tang Tan, to craft the new AI device.

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Tan, who played a pivotal role in the design of iPhone and Apple Watch, is set to join LoveFrom, Ive’s design firm established post his departure from Apple in 2019. His focus will be on the hardware engineering aspect of the highly-anticipated product, while OpenAI takes charge of the software side. Tan joins the ranks of Apple design experts migrating to LoveFrom, with Shota Aoyagi, an Apple executive, having recently made a similar move.

This development marks a significant stride in the speculated collaboration between Altman and Ive, though specific details remain elusive. Bloomberg’s report hints at early concept ideas, possibly involving a series of home devices.

The collaboration has garnered attention, especially with the involvement of Tan and Ive, prompting speculation about a potential challenge to the iPhone’s dominance in the consumer tech industry. Altman, however, has emphasized that any AI hardware from OpenAI will not seek to replace the ubiquitous smartphone.

Altman’s interest in AI hardware extends beyond OpenAI, as he has previously invested in Humane, a startup led by ex-Apple employees. Humane recently introduced an “AI pin,” a screenless wearable with a voice assistant and laser projector powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 model. Despite its ambitious goal to replace smartphones, the AI pin has faced challenges, including misinformation issues and perceived clunkiness.

As the industry buzzes with anticipation, OpenAI is yet to comment on the recent developments reported by Bloomberg.

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