In a new post on Medium, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple is way behind its competitors when it comes to generative artificial intelligence (AI) tech. He adds that there’s no sign that the tech giant plans to launch or integrate AI computing or hardware products this year or next.
Last month Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that could challenge those of OpenAI Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and others, but the company has yet to devise a clear strategy for releasing the technology to consumers.
The company has built its own framework to create large language models — the AI-based systems at the heart of new offerings like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard — the article adds. With that foundation, known as “Ajax,” Apple also has created a chatbot service that some engineers call “Apple GPT,” according to Gurman.
From his report: The company has already deployed AI-related improvements to search, Siri and maps based on that system. And Ajax is now being used to create large language models and serve as the foundation for the internal ChatGPT-style tool, the people said.
The scale of testing within Apple seems especially concentrated for now, however, and Gurman reports that Apple is restrictive on how it can be used:
Still, the system requires special approval for access. There’s also a significant caveat: Any output from it can’t be used to develop features bound for customers. Even so, Apple employees are using it to assist with product prototyping. It also summarizes text and answers questions based on data it has been trained with.
In May, TechCrunch reported that Apple had posted at least a dozen job ads on its career page seeking experts in generative AI. Specifically, it’s looking for machine learning specialists “passionate about building extraordinary autonomous systems” in the field. The job ads (some of which seem to cover the same role, or are calling for multiple applicants) first started appearing April 27, with the most recent of them getting published earlier this week, notes TechCrunch.
In March it was reported that Apple is testing AI (artificial intelligence) features (think ChatGPT) that could eventually come to Siri, according to The New York Times (a subscription is required to read this article).
Apple engineers, including members of the Siri team, have reportedly been testing language-generation concepts “every week” in response to the rise of chatbots like ChatGPT, the article adds. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models and has been fine-tuned using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques.