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Sam Altman says he has 'no interest in trying to compete with a smartphone,' following rumors of a collaboration with Jony Ive

Tom Carter   

Sam Altman says he has 'no interest in trying to compete with a smartphone,' following rumors of a collaboration with Jony Ive
  • During an event run by The Wall Street Journal, Sam Altman said he had many ideas for an AI device.
  • The OpenAI CEO added that AI wouldn't replace smartphones and he didn't want to compete with them.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been discussing his views on AI devices and suggested he's not interested in building one that could rival a smartphone.

It followed speculation that OpenAI may be in talks to build an AI device in collaboration with other tech titans.

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's Tech Live event, Altman said that while he was interested in the concept of an AI-based consumer device, he wasn't sure what such a device would look like — and didn't think it could challenge the "phenomenal" popularity of smartphones.

The Information and The Financial Times reported last month that OpenAI was in talks with legendary Apple designer Jony Ive and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son over a $1 billion deal to build the "iPhone of artificial intelligence."

"I'm interested in this topic, I think it is possible," Altman told The Wall Street Journal tech columnist Joanna Stern at the event. "There is something great to do, but I don't know what it is yet."

"I do think every sufficiently big, new technology enables some kind of new computing platform — (I have) lots of ideas, but all at the very nascent stage."

Altman said that future AI devices would not eclipse the popularity of smartphones, suggesting that OpenAI is unlikely to be planning to compete with Apple.

OpenAI has enjoyed rapid growth this year, but there are questions over whether it can maintain it.

The company also recently updated its core values, which are listed on its careers page. It swapped "audacious" and "impact-driven" with having an "AGI focus" and being "intense and scrappy."

At the Journal's event, Altman said, "Smartphones are great. I have no interest in trying to compete with a smartphone — it's phenomenal at what it does."

He added, "What AI enables is so fundamentally new… I think it's well worth the effort of talking and thinking about what we can make now. If the answer turned out to be nothing, I would be a little bit disappointed."

OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.




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