Beneath the surface, Apple is churning away on AI development, just like every other tech company.
According to a report from The Information, the tech giant is spending “millions of dollars a day” from its computing budget to develop AI.
Despite maintaining a poker face of cautious detachment from the AI hype machine, Apple is also very much a competitor in the so-called AI arms race. The company has been coy about even mentioning AI, but reporting from Bloomberg in July revealed “Apple GPT,” its own large language model, that was being used internally. It was also reported that while Apple didn’t quite yet know what to do with its LLM, officially dubbed Ajax, it might possibly used for Apple Care customer support. Apple believes its LLM Ajax GPT is better than OpenAI’s ChatGPT-3.5.
Now, the picture of Apple’s plans for generative AI is coming into focus. According to the report, multiple teams are focused on AI, and there’s a 16-member unit called “Foundational Models” devoted to conversational AI. The unit is helmed by Apple’s head of AI, John Giannandrea, who came from Google to revamp Siri.
As you may expect, much of Apple’s investment in conversational AI has to do with Siri. According to the report, Apple is planning to give Siri the ability to automate complex tasks, like turning a series of photos into a GIF. “The new capability is related to Apple’s Shortcuts app, which lets users manually program a series of actions using different apps and is expected to be released alongside a new version of the iPhone’s operating system next year,” said The Information.
Other AI products reportedly in development are multimodal AI, which involves text-to-image generation and vice versa, and software for generating 3D scenes.