Apple Testing ‘Apple GPT’ AI Chatbot That Could Be Coming Soon

Apple has reportedly been building artificial intelligence (AI) tools that could potentially compete with OpenAI and Alphabet’s Google, despite not yet having a clear plan for consumer release, according to sources familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

The technology giant has established its own framework, known as “Ajax”, for creating large language models, the AI-based systems at the core of offerings such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. This development, known to some engineers as “Apple GPT”, has become a significant effort at Apple, with multiple teams contributing to the project.

The initiatives are Apple’s response to the rapid growth and popularity of generative tools, which can create a variety of content from text prompts, including essays, images, and videos. Apple’s recent focus has been on tackling potential privacy concerns linked to this technology.

Despite this progress, the Cupertino, California-based company has yet to determine how to market these generative AI tools to consumers. As a result, Apple’s generative AI tool, which is accessible as a web application, has been described as a prototype, not intended for public use, and currently, no plans exist for its consumer release. However, Apple’s internal teams are using the tool for product prototyping, text summarizing, and question answering.

According to Apple insiders, Gurman says there is an ongoing cross-company effort between the AI and software engineering groups and the cloud services engineering team. The latter would provide the necessary infrastructure for any significant new features. While the company doesn’t yet have a concrete plan, those familiar with the work believe Apple is aiming to make a significant AI-related announcement next year.

The initiatives are being led by John Giannandrea, Apple’s head of machine learning and AI, and Craig Federighi, Apple’s top software engineering executive. However, the leaders have reportedly not presented a unified front within Apple.

Apple’s Ajax system, used for the development of these tools, runs on Google Cloud and is built on top of Google Jax, Google’s machine learning framework. To bolster its recent AI efforts, Apple is actively recruiting more experts in generative AI and advertises for engineers with a “robust understanding of large language models and generative AI” on its website.

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has previously indicated that the company is cautious about the generative AI market, citing potential bias and misinformation risks. He called for regulation in the space while acknowledging the technology’s “great promise”. The company’s AI strategy has been defended by Cook, stating that the technology is widely used across Apple’s product lineup, including features like car crash and fall detection.

Apple, despite launching its voice assistant Siri before rival systems, has seen the tool lag behind competitors. One potential area of integration for Apple’s large language model technology could be Siri, which would allow the voice assistant to perform more tasks for users. Will Siri actually become smart one day? Let’s hope so.

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