Apple has been conspicuously quiet about its plans for artificial intelligence, even as rivals like Google and Microsoft made headlines touting the latest tech buzzword. But CEO Tim Cook leaped to his company’s defense Thursday, pointing out that AI is already used by many Apple products.
And he also listed upcoming software and services that wouldn’t be possible without machine learning and AI.
Tim Cook opens up (slightly) about Apple and AI
The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT late last year introduced the world to generative artificial intelligence — and set off an arms race of sorts. Google, Meta and others rushed to match the technology.
But Apple hasn’t made AI-related headlines, mostly because it hasn’t introduced a direct rival to ChatGPT. But Cook set out in a conference call with analysts and major investors Thursday to make it clear that his company isn’t behind the curve on AI.
“We view AI and machine learning as core fundamental technologies that are integral to virtually every product that we build,” said Cook.
He went on to give examples of upcoming and existing Apple software and services that depend on AI.
“If you think about WWDC in June, we announced some features that will be coming in iOS 17 this fall, like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail. Previously, we announced life-saving features like Fall Detection and Crash Detection and ECG ,” said Cook on Thursday. “ None of these features that I just mentioned and many, many more would be possible without AI and machine learning. And so it’s absolutely critical to us.”
Apple on the generative AI bandwagon, too
The Apple CEO gave the analysts assurances that the generative AI revolution isn’t going on without Apple noticing.
“Of course we’ve been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years,” he said. “We’re going to continue investing and innovating and responsibly advancing our products with these technologies, with the goal of enriching people’s lives. And that’s what it’s all about for us.”
But Cook stopped short of revealing specifics about any of the as-yet-unannounced AI-related products in development at Apple.
“As you know, we tend to announce things as they come to market and that’s our M.O. and I’d like to stick to that,” said the executive.
Rumor has it the company already developed its own generative AI chatbot, supposedly dubbed “Apple GPT,” that’s very similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It’s for employee use only, but the technology behind it allegedly improved the company’s applications and services, including Siri and Apple Maps.