OpenAI, Jony Ive in talks to raise $1 bln from SoftBank for AI device venture – FT



OpenAI, the renowned artificial intelligence research organization, is reportedly in advanced discussions with SoftBank, the Japanese multinational conglomerate, to secure a massive $1 billion investment for their new AI device venture. This potential collaboration marks a significant milestone in the world of AI and technology, as it brings together the innovative prowess of OpenAI with the design genius of Jony Ive, the former Chief Design Officer at Apple Inc. According to the Financial Times (FT), this partnership could pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in the realm of artificial intelligence and consumer technology.

The Vision Behind the Partnership

OpenAI, founded in December 2015, has made waves in the AI community with its cutting-edge research and development in machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics. The organization is renowned for its dedication to ensuring that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity.

On the other hand, Jony Ive, the design visionary behind many iconic Apple products such as the iPhone and the MacBook, has recently ventured into the world of AI hardware. Ive’s expertise in crafting user-centric, aesthetically pleasing devices could complement OpenAI’s technological capabilities.

The collaboration between OpenAI and Jony Ive seeks to combine the best of both worlds: innovative AI technology and user-friendly design. The result could be a range of AI devices that not only excel in terms of functionality but also seamlessly integrate into users’ lives.

Potential Impact on the AI Landscape

If this partnership comes to fruition, it could have several significant implications:

  1. Advancements in AI Hardware: OpenAI’s expertise in AI research combined with Ive’s design acumen could lead to the development of AI hardware that sets new standards for performance, user experience, and aesthetics.
  2. Consumer-Friendly AI: The collaboration could bridge the gap between cutting-edge AI technology and consumer-friendly products. This could make AI more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.
  3. Competitive Edge: With SoftBank’s substantial investment, the venture could outpace competitors in the AI hardware market, potentially revolutionizing how people interact with AI in their daily lives.
  4. AI for Good: OpenAI’s commitment to using AGI for the benefit of humanity aligns well with Ive’s focus on creating products that enhance users’ lives. This partnership could lead to AI devices designed with ethics and user well-being in mind.

Challenges Ahead

Despite the potential for groundbreaking advancements, there are challenges that OpenAI and Jony Ive’s venture may face. Developing AI hardware that strikes the right balance between functionality, design, and affordability can be a complex task. Moreover, ensuring that these devices uphold ethical and privacy standards is paramount.


The reported talks between OpenAI and Jony Ive for a $1 billion investment from SoftBank signal an exciting development in the world of artificial intelligence and consumer technology. This partnership, if realized, could push the boundaries of what AI devices can achieve, making them more accessible and user-friendly. As technology continues to advance, collaborations like this one exemplify the potential for positive and innovative change in the industry. The world eagerly awaits the outcome of these discussions and the impact this venture may have on the future of AI.