Apple is apparently responding to criticism that it doesn’t offer real competition for OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, two AI-powered chatbots that have made so many headlines in recent months. Job postings show the Mac-maker is on a hiring spree for people skilled in generative AI.
Perhaps Apple’s voice-activated system Siri is in for a significant jump in capabilities.
Making Siri smarter with generative AI
Back in the day, Siri was cutting-edge tech. It could respond to verbal questions with useful answers. But its heyday came at least a decade ago, and much better options are available these days.
Siri was taught the meanings of individual words, while ChatGPT and Bard analyzed huge collections of text to figure out how language works. That enables these AIs to generate new sentences they weren’t specifically taught, something Siri cannot do.
But a recent unconfirmed report indicated that Apple is working on its own generative AI chatbot. And job listings seem to bear that out. Apple has at least a dozen postings looking for experts in generative AI, according to TechCrunch.
One example for a “Machine Learning Engineer – Generative AI” doesn’t leave much room for doubt. The description of the job opening says, “Apple’s Technology Development Group (TDG) is looking for Machine-Learning engineers with a background and/or interest in Generative AI! You will be leveraging innovative Generative models to build fundamental applications on top of Apple’s most advanced technologies.”
The secretive Technology Development Group reportedly consists of more than 1,000 employees. It creates the company’s most secret projects, like the VR/AR headset expected to launch in June.
Perhaps the TDG is hard at work on a smarter version of Siri. Like ChatGPT, this would be able to answer a wide range of questions posed to it, not the very limited set it can handle now. The result would be a boon for many Apple devices, especially the HomePod smart speaker, which is voice controlled and greatly hobbled by Siri’s current limitations.