Jony Ive and Sam Altman Forge Ahead in AI Hardware

Home AI Projects Jony Ive and Sam Altman Forge Ahead in AI Hardware

Jony Ive, the renowned designer, and Sam Altman from OpenAI have brought on board a seasoned Apple Inc. veteran for their latest venture into artificial intelligence hardware. The goal is to develop cutting-edge devices with advanced capabilities.


Tang Tan, a departing executive from Apple, is set to join Ive’s design firm, LoveFrom, where he will play a key role in shaping the aesthetics and functionalities of the upcoming products, according to insiders. Altman, a prominent figure in the field of modern AI, will oversee the software aspects of the project, although the details are not public as of now.


This initiative represents one of Ive’s most ambitious undertakings since establishing LoveFrom in 2019 following his departure from Apple. Ive, famous for his contributions to iconic Apple products like the iMac, iPhone, and iPad, envisions turning the AI device project into a standalone company. However, the development is still in its early stages, with the primary focus on talent acquisition and conceptualization.


Tan is expected to lead hardware engineering at LoveFrom while contributing to the AI project. The endeavor has attracted attention since Altman, who was briefly ousted as CEO of OpenAI, joined forces with Ive, drawing interest from potential investors like SoftBank Group Corp. Projects in the conceptual phase include home devices, with LoveFrom handling inquiries and Apple and OpenAI declining to comment on the matter.


Tan’s departure from Apple adds to the exodus of design talent from the tech giant, with approximately 14 members of Ive’s former team leaving since 2019. This includes Evans Hankey, Ive’s successor, who left earlier this year, leaving a gap in Apple’s design leadership.


LoveFrom, on the other hand, has established itself with notable clients like Airbnb Inc., Ferrari NV, and Moncler SpA. While having previously collaborated with Apple, the consulting services arrangement concluded in 2022. More than 20 former Apple employees have joined LoveFrom, further signaling a shift in design talent away from Apple.


Recent departures from Apple include Patrick Coffman, a significant UI design leader, and Colin Burns, head of Apple’s Interaction Architecture team. Shota Aoyagi, a member of Ive’s industrial design team at Apple, has also joined LoveFrom. The collaboration between Ive, Altman, and their team underscores the ongoing evolution in the landscape of technology and design.