Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple is actively developing artificial intelligence projects, known as "Apple GPT," to potentially compete with OpenAI's ChatGPT. In recent months, Apple has intensified its focus on AI due to the increasing prevalence of chatbot services and AI capabilities in various applications.
Apple has created an "Ajax" framework tailored for large language models such as ChatGPT, Microsoft's Bing, and Google's Bard. The company has also built an in-house chatbot, informally known as "Apple GPT," a playful reference to ChatGPT. Despite these developments, Apple currently lacks a definitive plan for introducing a consumer product, as stated by Mark Gurman.
Due to the rising demand for AI chatbots, Apple is concerned about falling behind in the adoption of innovative AI-driven technologies that could revolutionize smartphone interactions. As part of their efforts, Apple's employees have restricted access to a chatbot app the company is currently developing. However, the output from this chatbot app cannot be utilized to develop new product features for customers. Instead, it is exclusively employed for product prototyping and can respond to inquiries based on the data used to train it by Apple.
The Ajax platform is built on Google's Jax machine learning framework, running on Google Cloud. Apple reportedly considered signing a contract with OpenAI and trialed OpenAI's technology for its corporate teams, but ultimately did not do so.
Apple has several teams working on artificial intelligence and attempting to solve problems like privacy concerns. Even with its Siri personal assistant, Apple has always been more cautious than competitors, aiming to put privacy ahead of functionality. Apple has been criticized for Siri's shortcomings in comparison to competing products from Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, and others.
During Apple's May earnings call, Tim Cook said there are a "number of issues that need to be sorted" with AI, and that it's important to be "deliberate and thoughtful" in the development approach. Cook also said that Apple views AI as "huge," and plans to "continue weaving it in products on a very thoughtful basis."
There is no word as of yet on when or if Apple might release some kind of consumer-facing chatbot, but the company continually improves machine learning-based features in its products with each new software iteration. In iOS 17, for example, predictive text functionality has improved, and Apple has introduced new features around Visual Lookup and photo identification.
Apple could be planning to make a "significant" AI announcement in 2024 but has no concrete plans as of yet. Apple's AI head John Giannandrea and software engineering chief Craig Federighi are heading up Apple's AI efforts, but as with many of Apple's emerging technologies, there are reportedly disagreements over product development that the company will need to overcome.
News Source: MacRumors.com