Tim Cook commits Apple to generative AI


AI-generated image of Apple CEO Tim Cook sitting on an ornate golden throne.
An AI-generated image of Tim Cook is appropriate for an AI-related article.
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Apple’s CEO made the clearest statement yet about his company’s plans for generative AI. Tim Cook said Thursday that “we have work going on.” And he made additional comments, too.

The executive also promised that Apple’s efforts on artificial intelligence are being carried out responsibly.

Apple is on board with generative AI

The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT a year ago 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.

So it’s no surprise Cook was asked about his company’s plans during a conference call with investors on Thursday.

“In terms of generative AI, obviously we have work going on. I’m not going to get into details about what it is,” responded the CEO. “But you can bet that we’re investing — we’re investing quite a bit.”

While still vague, it’s more of a commitment than he’s made in the past.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the company has been working in this area for about four years. It allegedly created a ChatGPT-style tool using large language models. However, it is for testing purposes only and there are supposedly no plans to release the software, dubbed Apple GPT, to the public.

AI is already all over iPhone and Mac

Tim Cook’s response on the conference all Thursday also brought up a point he’s made before: Apple already uses artificial intelligence in numerous products. It’s just that these are not chatbots.

“We view AI and machine learning as fundamental technologies, and they’re integral to virtually every product that we ship,” he said. “And so just recently, when we shipped iOS 17 it had features like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail.”

Cook continued with, “And then you can go all the way to the life saving features on the [Apple] Watch and the phone like fall detection, crash detection, ECG on the watch — these would not be possible without AI.”

As he noted, “AI is at the heart of these features.”


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