Sam Altman, the head of OpenAI, and Jony Ive, the legendary designer known for his work on the iPhone, are collaborating on a new AI hardware device. They have recruited Tang Tan, an Apple executive who played a significant role in the design of the iPhone and Apple Watch, to join the project. Tan is joining LoveFrom, Ive’s design firm which he started after leaving Apple in 2019, and will focus on the hardware engineering aspect of the product. OpenAI will provide the software.
The project is still shrouded in secrecy, but it’s known that the device will not be competing with smartphones. Altman has expressed that he has no interest in creating a product that would replace the smartphone. However, the involvement of high-profile figures like Altman, Ive, and Tang has sparked speculation about the device’s potential impact on the consumer tech industry.
This collaboration follows Altman’s investment in Humane, a startup that recently revealed an “AI pin,” a screenless wearable device. Despite its innovative approach, this device has faced criticism for its performance in demos.
Details about the new AI device, including its specific functions and intended use, remain largely unknown. OpenAI has not commented on the project as of yet.
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The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging copyright infringement. This legal action, initiated in Federal District Court in Manhattan, claims that OpenAI and Microsoft used millions of The Times’s articles to train their AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT. These chatbots, according to The Times, now rival the news outlet as a source of reliable information.
The lawsuit does not specify a monetary demand but seeks billions in damages and demands the destruction of any chatbot models and training data incorporating The Times’s copyrighted material. The Times had previously approached the companies in April seeking an amicable resolution, including a possible commercial agreement, but these discussions did not yield a resolution.
OpenAI’s spokeswoman, Lindsey Held, expressed surprise and disappointment over the lawsuit, stating that the company respects content creators’ rights and is committed to working with them. Microsoft declined to comment on the case.
The lawsuit highlights broader concerns in the creative industries about AI technologies using intellectual property without compensation. It mentions previous lawsuits by public figures and companies like Getty Images against AI firms for similar reasons.
This lawsuit could set a precedent in the evolving legal landscape of generative AI technologies and its implications for the news industry and intellectual property rights. The New York Times is also investigating ways to incorporate AI technology into its own journalism practices.
In 2023, OpenAI’s annualized income reached $1.6 billion, a significant increase from $1.3 billion in October. This growth is largely attributed to the success of ChatGPT. The year was marked by the controversial firing and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman. Altman’s temporary removal was surrounded by unclear reasons, with the board making vague allegations about his lack of transparency. The decision led to an uproar among OpenAI’s staff, resulting in Altman’s quick return.
Sam Altman discussed his experience of being fired and rehired during a podcast with Trevor Noah. He described the moment as confusing and surreal and mentioned being inundated with messages, including from Microsoft. Despite the ordeal, Altman maintained a positive outlook and focused on moving forward.
OpenAI’s success, particularly with ChatGPT, has been notable, making it a significant player in the AI industry. Altman’s experience and the company’s performance have drawn comparisons to notable tech figures and companies.
By comparison, some OpenAI leaders believe their company can reach an annualized revenue rate of $5 billion by the end of 2024, while others believe it can reach a far higher figure, according to two people familiar with the projections.
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