OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Rejects Speculation About an AI-Powered Device Resembling an ‘iPhone of AI’
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has officially quashed rumors of a collaborative venture with former Apple design chief Jony Ive to develop an AI-powered device, stating that he has no intention of entering the smartphone market competition. Altman praised the smartphone’s phenomenal capabilities during a recent appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s tech conference and emphasized that OpenAI’s exploration into consumer hardware is still in its early stages, describing it as “very nascent.”
While speculation had been swirling about the possibility of an ‘iPhone of AI’ being developed by OpenAI and Ive, Altman’s recent comments have cast doubt on these rumors. He made it clear that he sees potential for a significant project but is uncertain about what form it might take. “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,” Altman remarked.
The speculation about a potential collaboration between Jony Ive and Sam Altman revolved around the creation of an undisclosed artificial intelligence hardware device. Reports suggested that Ive and Altman had been engaged in discussions about a hardware product designed for the era of artificial intelligence. Their friendship had further fueled the rumors.
Adding to the intrigue, Thomas Meyerhoffer, who previously worked with Altman in designing the Orb, was mentioned. Meyerhoffer had previously worked at Apple under Ive’s leadership and contributed to projects like the iMac. The Orb, a spherical retina-scanning device, was developed for Altman’s Worldcoin cryptocurrency initiative and crafted by Tools for Humanity, a company co-founded by Altman in 2019, where he also serves as chairman.
Notably, OpenAI has not yet introduced any hardware product that can leverage its AI capabilities. In contrast, companies like Google have been developing AI-focused chipsets for use in their flagship smartphones. However, OpenAI is expanding the functionality of its ChatGPT platform, enabling it to “hear, speak, and see.” The platform can accept images as input, analyze them, and provide custom replies. It can also generate audio responses for ease of use. OpenAI’s primary source of revenue continues to be its premium membership offering, ChatGPT Plus.
While the prospect of an ‘iPhone of AI’ had generated significant interest and speculation, Sam Altman’s latest statements suggest that OpenAI’s foray into consumer hardware remains uncertain, leaving Apple and other smartphone manufacturers without a direct AI-powered competitor, at least for the time being.