Apple allocates $1B to accelerate its lagging AI initiatives. Amidst executive anxieties, the tech giant is fast-tracking generative AI technology for a smarter Siri and more.
“Apple’s fashionably late to the AI game, but you know their fans, once Apple drops any cool AI feature, they’ll swear Apple invented the whole thing!”
Apple’s previously modest AI ventures have been a source of internal concern, sparking a decision to amplify its focus in the field.
The tech giant is now allocating $1 billion a year to AI R&D, as per recent Bloomberg reports. This strategic pivot aims to mend the company’s lagging reputation in AI, an area executives admit has been a notable shortfall.
While Apple acknowledges the role of generative AI in its ecosystem, its current applications are narrowly focused on specific features like auto-correct, speech transcription, and error detection.
This suggests that the company’s overall AI capabilities are still in a nascent stage.
According to insiders, the tech giant aims to launch a new version of Siri, as soon as next year.
Federighi’s squad is leading efforts to integrate AI features in the next iOS iteration, making tasks like message completion and question fielding more sophisticated.
The team is also exploring the application of AI in Xcode, Apple’s software development environment.
It’s akin to a spellchecker, but for code, nudging developers to write faster and cleaner, reminiscent of Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot.
On a different note, Cue is directing AI features into Apple Music and productivity software like Pages and Keynote.
As for customer service, AppleCare is being revamped with generative AI for internal use.
To add a cherry on top, Apple’s engineers are developing a chatbot to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT, tentatively named “Apple GPT”.
The strategic direction, whether to keep the AI fully on-device, rely on the cloud, or opt for a blend of both, is currently under internal debate.
Recent job listings from Apple indicate a concerted effort to ramp up its generative AI capabilities across various products.
With openings that range from developing an “AI-based developer experience platform” for the App Store to creating a “conversational AI platform” in retail, the tech giant appears to be diversifying its AI applications.
Specialities sought include long-form text generation, question-answering, and conversational agents, showcasing the company’s ambitious roadmap in artificial intelligence.
What sets these job listings apart from earlier ones is the specificity in their requirements.
While Apple has always shown interest in generative AI, this new wave of hiring comes with clear-cut goals, such as working on Siri Information Intelligence and ensuring AI models can operate on local devices.
In an unexpected move, “The Problem with Jon Stewart” won’t see a third season on Apple TV+. The split appears to be over disagreements regarding content, particularly episodes set to focus on China and AI.
This cancellation lands in a complex context for Apple, as the company recently earmarked $1 billion for their own AI development.
The end of Stewart’s show begs the question: Was Apple concerned that a critical take on China’s role in AI could compromise their own massive investment in this technology?
In the fast-paced world of tech, being late to the party is akin to not showing up at all.
Apple’s recent recruitment push in generative AI is a glaring sign that they’re tired of playing catch-up.
And honestly, how long before we hear about Apple buying or deeply partnering with a specialised AI company to build foundational models?
Given their $1 billion annual investment, such a move could be the turbo boost they need to finally leapfrog their competition. One thing’s for sure—Apple’s days of sitting on the AI bench are long gone.