Apple is Quietly Investing in Generative AI


In an interview with Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company’s increased research and development spending is partially driven by their work on generative AI. This type of AI is also prompting spending increases at other major tech firms.

“At Apple, we’ve been conducting research into a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years,” Cook stated. “We plan to continue investing, innovating and advancing our products responsibly with these technologies in order to enrich people’s lives. Our significant investments in this area are evident in the R&D spending figures.”

AI has taken center stage in the tech world in 2023, especially with the meteoric rise of ChatGPT from OpenAI. However, other tech giants are rapidly developing their own AI chatbot capabilities, like Microsoft’s new Bing chat feature for business, which has built-in privacy protections. It appeared Apple was lagging behind other major tech companies in developing generative AI technology.

However, it turns out Apple has actually been quietly working on its own generative AI efforts. Apple’s CEO revealed that part of the company’s $22.6 billion spending on research and development is driven by investments in AI technology, including generative AI.

Unlike other major tech companies like Google, Meta, and Microsoft, which invested in AI early and have been rapidly launching new generative AI tools, Apple has taken a characteristically cautious approach.

In July, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc. is quietly developing artificial intelligence technologies that could rival those created by OpenAI Inc., Google, and other tech giants. However, the company has yet to formulate a definite plan for bringing these AI advancements to its customers. The report highlighted that Apple’s internal chatbot utilizes the company’s own large language model framework called “Ajax,” which was developed by multiple teams within Apple.

Also reported in July in Mashable, Apple employees are already utilizing an internal AI chatbot dubbed “Apple GPT” that possesses capabilities similar to ChatGPT. This chatbot helps employees prototype potential new features, summarize texts, and answer questions based on its training data. Apple is also exploring ways to expand the use of its large language model (LLM) across the company’s operations, including integrating it into AppleCare to aid customer service agents in assisting users. The technology giant sees promise in leveraging its LLM technology to enhance various processes, though it has yet to settle on a definitive strategy for deploying the AI for consumer-facing products and services.

Despite earlier speculations, the reports were not officially confirmed by any Apple executives until Tim Cook commented on the technology during an interview, validating that Apple is working on AI advancements.

The big question on the minds of Apple users is whether Siri will receive an upgrade to utilize generative AI capabilities, which would be an obvious application of this technology.

Tim Cook’s explicit reference to generative AI as part of Apple’s research and development indicates that Apple users could see more ChatGPT-like capabilities integrated into products and services in the near future. In the meantime, Apple will continue investing in its AI research and expanding its technologies across its own platforms.

Blessing Obioha

Blessing Obioha

Tech enthusiast and AI content creator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *