Sir Jony Ive’s design for the iPhone defined the smartphoneera. Now he can do the same with artificial intelligence.
The British designer who designed some of Apple’s most iconic products is now working with ChatGPT creator to create a new AI gadget.
According to The Information, OpenAI’s founder Sam Altman reportedly recruited Sir Jony to help with “AI hardware”.
As investment and interest in this area grows, the pair is said to be discussing how an AI device might look.
Sir Jony is regarded by many as the most influential designer of this century. He was Chief Design Officer at Apple between 1997 and 2019. The 56-year old also designed the iPhone, iPod, and MacBook. He has worked with Ferrari to design an electric sportscar.
The Londoner, who is a favourite of the King, also designed the Terra Carta Seal, which will be awarded to companies that take significant steps to reduce CO2 emission over the next 10 years.
Sir Jony and Mr Altman have previously worked together. Both directors of US venture capital fund Churchill Capital.
Both were approached separately by Saudi Arabia for a position on the advisory board of the $500bn megacity project Neom, but they distanced themselves after the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Altman, who has been a pioneer in AI technology for many years, has launched a piece of hardware influenced by AI this year.
His company Worldcoin built a gadget, the Orb, that scans people’s iris. Mr Altman is confident that the database of iris scans will allow people to protect their online identities as AI increases fraud.
Thomas Meyerhoffer is the Worldcoin lead designer. He was one of Mr Ive’s protégés at Apple.
Bola Rotibi of CCS Insight’s enterprise research said that it was “no shock” to hear Sir Jony Altman and Bola Rotibi in discussion.
She said: “I believe that [the device] has a focused focus and will likely target specific industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare firms.”
According to Ms Rotibi, the new AI gadget would “kick-start a highly dynamic and competitive market” similar to that of the iPhone.
OpenAI has not responded to any requests for comments. Sir Jony was not available for comment.