Sam Altman And Former Apple Design Maestro Seek Funding From Laurene Powell Jobs, Masayoshi Son For Their AI Device Startup

OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman and Apple design legend Sir Jony Ive, are reportedly seeking $1 billion in funding for a new artificial intelligence (AI) project. 

What Happened: Altman and Ive are looking to secure the funding for an undisclosed AI project, reported The Information on Friday.

The report suggests that Altman and Ive are seeking funding from Thrive Capital, an existing OpenAI investor, and Emerson Collective, led by Laurene Powell-Jobs.

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The duo are also in talks with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son to fund their upcoming AI device venture.

Despite the lack of details about the project, it’s not the first time Altman and Ive have been linked to an AI-related venture. In September, the two were reportedly collaborating with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son on a similar project.

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While the specifics of the project remain a mystery, it is expected to put Ive at odds with Apple, the company he left in 2019 to establish his independent design consultancy, LoveFrom.

Why It Matters: Altman and Ive have been pursuing their AI hardware dreams at a time when the AI industry is heating up.

In February, Son and Altman were planning to raise $100 billion for a new chip venture targeting the AI market, potentially posing a challenge to Nvidia Corp.

Moreover, in December 2023, Apple’s iPhone design executive, Tang Tan, was reported to be collaborating with Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on a groundbreaking AI hardware project.

This was followed by reports in September 2023 that Ive, Altman, and Son were in advanced talks to build the "iPhone of AI."

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photos via Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Posted In: NewsStartupsTechartificial intelligencebenzinga neuroConsumer TechJony IveLaurene Powell JobsMasayoshi SonOpenAiSam Altmanthrive capital
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