In July, it was reported that Apple was developing an AI chatbot internally referred to as Apple GPT to compete with similar AI bots launched by companies like OpenAI and Google in the past year.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has now confirmed that the company is researching generative AI, without sharing many details.
While answering a question about the company’s plans for investing in AI in the United Kingdom during his visit to the country, he responded, “AI is all over our products today – it’s behind the Fall Detection on the (Apple) Watch, it’s behind Crash Detection, it’s behind Afib (atrial fibrillation) detection, it’s behind the ECG, it’s predictive typing on iPhone… it’s literally everywhere on our products and of course we’re also researching generative AI as well, so yes we have a lot going on.”
It was previously reported that Apple’s employees were testing the AI chatbot and primarily using it for product prototyping. As we reported earlier, the AI efforts at the company are led by Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, John Giannandrea, who was previously at Google, and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi.
The news comes at a time when OpenAI is reportedly in discussions with former Apple design chief Jony Ive and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son about the possibility of building a new AI hardware device.
The AI firm has recently launched voice chat features in ChatGPT for paying subscribers, making its assistant similar to Siri in many ways, with arguably much more powerful underlying technology. This could potentially be seen as a threat by Apple.
Apple is expected to make various AI-related announcements next year, but it remains unclear whether they will include the launch of the company’s AI chatbot. If Apple were to launch an AI chatbot, it would have a significant distribution advantage, as its products are used by over a billion people worldwide.