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Jony Ive is now looking for funding to jump on the AI development train

Former Apple head designer Jony Ive is looking for big money from known artificial intelligence venture capitalists to build his mysterious assistant product.

A report on Friday again links Jony Ive with Open AI funding source Thrive Capital, and newly connects Laurene Powell-Jobs' Emerson collective to the effort. According to sources, Ive is looking for $1 billion in funding to get the effort off the ground.

This is not the first time that Ive has been connected to an AI peripheral of some sort. In September, Ive was linked with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son to make

Friday's report from The Information sheds no new light on what Ive is looking to accomplish. Previous reports claimed that Ive had having brainstorming sessions at his San Francisco studio with OpenAI's Sam Altman. Thosse sessions were said to have been centered on what a new consumer product with OpenAI technology could do, and could look like.

As is typical, nobody the publication reached out to had any comment on the matter.

In the long run, the effort is likely to put Ive at loggerheads with Apple. Ive left Apple in 2019 to create his own independent design consultancy, LoveFrom, following nearly three decades at the company.

While going independent has given Ive the chance to work with other companies, the firm he founded was still connected to Apple for a time.

For example, in May 2021, it was reported that Ive had worked on the 24-inch iMac, a major redesign of the desktop Mac. However, due to the typically long development process for hardware designs, it's plausible that Ive was still employed at Apple at the time of his involvement, rather than it being work carried out as part of LoveFrom.

In 2022, reports circulated that Ive was no longer consulting with Apple.

Apple hasn't been standing still on the AI front. As it stands now, machine learning and artificial intelligence routines span nearly every aspect of Apple's hardware and services.

CEO Tim Cook has said that the company will have announcements before the end of 2024. In an X post shortly after the official announcement of WWDC 2024, Greg Joswiak made a post promoting the WWDC news.

The Apple SVP of Marketing's post tells developers to "Mark your calendars for #WWDC24," confirming both the date and the official hashtag for the event.

"Joz" then follows up with the declaration "It's going to be Absolutely Incredible!" Joswiak's post does include a hint, but it doesn't require an Enigma machine to work out the capitalized "Absolutely Incredible" refers to AI.