Sam Altman, the former CEO of OpenAI, has announced plans for a new venture following his departure from the company. Despite leaving the company he co-founded, Altman appeared unaffected by the abrupt exit. Altman, a prominent figure in the AI industry, was dismissed amid concerns about his lack of transparency, which hindered the board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities. This lack of confidence in Altman’s leadership led to his departure from OpenAI. Interestingly, Altman’s dismissal occurred without the presence of then President of AI, Greg Brockman, who subsequently resigned, indicating his disapproval.
Now, fresh off the surprise exit, The Information has reported that Altman is actively discussing a new project with potential investors. Speculations suggest that he could team up with Brockman, the former president of OpenAI. Earlier rumors pointed to a partnership between Altman and design luminary, former Apple designer Jony Ive, on an ambitious “iPhone of Artificial Intelligence” project, but Altman has since described his ideas as “very nascent,” The Verge reported.
Insiders familiar with the plan reveal that Ive and Altman are working to develop a device that offers a “more natural and intuitive user experience” for interacting with AI. Inspired by the transformative impact of the original iPhone’s touchscreen technology, the duo explores ways to revolutionize user engagement with AI. Funding for this venture is said to come from Softbank Group chief Masayoshi Son, with an emphasis on Arm, a chip design company in which Son owns 90 percent.
Although I played a key role in the design of the first iPhone, he has previously expressed concern about the addictive nature of smartphones. In a 2018 interview with the Financial Times, Ive emphasized the “moral responsibility” of tech companies to address such issues and anticipate unintended consequences when developing new products.
Meanwhile, Altman’s departure marks a significant change for OpenAI, leaving industry watchers anxiously awaiting how the company will handle this unexpected change in leadership.