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‘No AI iPhone:’ OpenAI CEO Sam Altman dismisses rumours of AI-powered smartphone

‘No AI iPhone:’ OpenAI CEO Sam Altman dismisses rumours of AI-powered smartphone

OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman has revealed that the company is not working on any AI-powered smartphone. Rumours of an iPhone-like AI device started making the rounds, after Sam Altman was seen in a meeting former Apple design chief Jony Ive

In a recent announcement at The Wall Street Journal’s tech conference, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman unequivocally denied any plans to collaborate with former Apple design chief Jony Ive to develop an AI-powered device.

While rumours had been swirling about a potential partnership, Altman asserted that although there might be potential for an exciting project, he remains uncertain about its specifics at this juncture.

Altman expressed a notable lack of interest in venturing into direct competition with the smartphone market, lauding the remarkable capabilities of these devices. He characterized OpenAI’s exploration into consumer hardware as being at a very early, or as he put it, “very nascent” stage.

He stated, “I think there is something great to do but I don’t know what it is yet. I have no interest in trying to compete with the smartphone. It’s phenomenal at what it does.”

This statement comes in the midst of fervent speculation regarding the development of an ‘iPhone of AI’ by OpenAI and Ive. However, Altman’s comments seem to suggest that Apple need not be concerned for now.

Reports had indicated that Jony Ive and Sam Altman were in discussions concerning a potential collaboration with the goal of creating an undisclosed artificial intelligence hardware device. According to The Information, Ive and Altman share a close friendship and have been actively engaged in deliberations about a hardware product for the AI era.

These rumours were further fueled by the involvement of Thomas Meyerhoffer, who previously worked with Altman on designing the Orb. Prior to his time at OpenAI, Meyerhoffer was hired by Ive at Apple and collaborated on projects such as the iMac.

The Orb, a spherical retina-scanning device, was created for Altman’s Worldcoin cryptocurrency initiative and developed by Tools for Humanity, a company co-founded by Altman in 2019, where he also serves as chairman.

To date, OpenAI has not unveiled any proprietary hardware product to harness its AI capabilities. In contrast, Google has been developing AI-focused chipsets for use in its flagship smartphones. Nonetheless, OpenAI is actively enhancing the capabilities of the ChatGPT platform, enabling it to “hear, speak, and see.”

The platform can now accept images as input, analyze them, and provide tailored responses. Additionally, it offers audio-based responses for greater accessibility. The company continues to rely on its premium membership offering, ChatGPT Plus, for revenue.


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