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Apple to Catch Up On AI With $1bn Yearly Investment

Apple to Catch Up On AI With $1bn Yearly Investment
An Apple logo is seen at the entrance of an Apple Store in downtown Brussels, Belgium March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Apple is making significant efforts to respond to the AI advancements that have taken the technology industry by storm, Bloomberg reports.

The company was seen as lagging behind when AI technologies like ChatGPT became prominent. While Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has stated that they have been working on generative AI for years, it’s evident that Apple was caught off guard by the AI developments in the industry.

To bridge the gap, Apple has embarked on an internal initiative, spearheaded by senior vice presidents John Giannandrea and Craig Federighi, who are referred to as the “executive sponsors” of the generative AI push. Eddy Cue, the head of services, is also involved. The company is investing approximately $1 billion per year in this endeavor.

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Giannandrea is overseeing the development of the underlying AI technology and the revamping of Siri. The goal is to create a smarter Siri that could be ready as soon as next year. However, there are still concerns about the technology, and it may take some time for Apple’s AI features to be integrated across its product line.

“There’s a lot of anxiety about this and it’s considered a pretty big miss internally,” a person with knowledge of the matter told Power On.

Federighi’s software engineering group is incorporating AI into the next version of iOS. This involves filling it with features running on the company’s large language model (LLM), using a vast amount of data to enhance AI capabilities. These features aim to improve Siri and the Messages app, making them more adept at handling questions and auto-completing sentences.

Apple’s software engineering teams are also considering integrating generative AI into development tools like Xcode, which could expedite app development. Apple’s services group, led by Eddy Cue, is exploring how generative AI can enhance various apps, including Apple Music and productivity apps.

One internal debate revolves around how to deploy generative AI: as a completely on-device experience, a cloud-based solution, or something in between. The on-device approach is faster and more privacy-focused, while the cloud-based setup allows for more advanced operations. A combination of both approaches may be adopted to balance performance and adaptability.

Apple recognizes the significance of generative AI and its central role in the future of computing. The company observed as major tech companies like Google and Microsoft made significant strides in the field of generative AI.

Google and Microsoft introduced generative AI versions of their search engines that could provide human-like responses to user queries. Microsoft also enhanced its Windows apps with smarter virtual assistants. Meanwhile, Amazon unveiled an AI-enhanced revamp of its virtual assistant, Alexa.

These advancements in generative AI from rival companies highlight the competitive landscape in the technology industry and the need for Apple to catch up in this field. Thus, the iPhone maker is determined not to fall behind and is making substantial investments to catch up with the AI advancements in the tech industry.

In its “Scary Fast” event Monday evening, Apple unveiled a new family of chips: the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max, and they’re all coming to the MacBook Pro. The 24-inch iMac will also get an M3 upgrade, which Apple says will make it twice as fast as the M1 24-inch iMac. The tech giant has spent the last three years replacing Intel chips in its products with the in-house M1 and M2. The M3 is expected to be faster and better at handling graphics than the previous iterations. The new 14-inch Pro laptop will start at $1,599; the 16-inch model will start at $2,499.The Verge notes the new M3 MacBook Pros bring an end to the era of the Touch Bar. Sales of Macs are expected to rise about 5% over the holidays, with revenue increasing 5.5% in the new fiscal year, forecasts Bloomberg. (LinkedIn)

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