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Apple’s Aggressive Push into AI: Insights into Conversational AI, Automation

Apple’s Increasing Investment in AI

  • Apple’s AI and Machine Learning Research
  • Conversational AI and Chatbots
  • Foundational Models and Large Language Models
  • Siri’s Multi-Step Automation
  • AI for Generating Videos, Images, and Multimodal AI

Apple’s Growing AI Investment

Apple is significantly boosting its investment in artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on several AI research areas, including conversational AI, foundational models, and more. While AI chief John Giannandrea has been cautious about chatbots, Apple has quietly been working on conversational AI for four years.

Chatbots in the Spotlight

Chatbots have gained prominence since the 2022 launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Companies like Microsoft and Google have embraced chatbots, but Apple has yet to release a consumer-oriented product. Reports suggest Apple is exploring its own chatbot called “Ajax.”

Foundational Models and Language Training

Apple’s “Foundational Models” team, plays a crucial role in AI development. Apple is investing heavily in training language models, requiring substantial hardware resources. OpenAI, for example, spent over $100 million on GPT-4.

Automating Multi-Step Tasks

Apple aims to enhance Siri’s capabilities, enabling it to automate complex, multi-step tasks. Currently, users manually set up workflows using the Shortcuts app, but Siri may soon handle these tasks seamlessly, potentially arriving with iOS 18.

AI for Media Generation

Apple is also delving into AI-generated media, including videos and images. Additionally, the company is working on multimodal AI that can process text, images, and video.

The Quest for Conversational AI

Apple’s efforts in the realm of conversational AI have led to speculation about an “Apple GPT” model. This move aligns with the trend sparked by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which has turned chatbots into a sought-after feature. Microsoft and Google have already launched their own chatbots, but Apple has not yet unveiled a consumer-oriented product in this domain.

Apple’s AI Team

Apple’s “Foundational Models” team, responsible for conversational AI, comprises just 16 members. However, the company is allocating significant resources to train its language models, reportedly spending millions of dollars daily. Training large language models demands substantial hardware investments, as exemplified by OpenAI’s allocation of over $100 million for GPT-4.

Expanding AI Goals

Beyond conversational AI, Apple has other AI objectives. The company aims to develop a feature that would enable voice assistants like Siri to automate multi-step tasks. While some iPhone automation is possible today, it requires manual setup through the Shortcuts app. Apple may introduce multi-step voice-controlled automation in iOS 18.

Diverse AI Endeavors

Apple’s AI endeavors also encompass software for generating videos and images, as well as multimodal AI that processes images, video, and text. The secretive “Ajax” chatbot Apple is working on is rumored to surpass the capabilities of ChatGPT 3.5, boasting training on a staggering 200 billion parameters. However, OpenAI’s newer models still hold the edge in terms of power and capabilities.

The Future of Apple’s AI

While Apple continues to invest in AI across various domains, the development of its own chatbot, improvements to Siri, and advancements in AI-generated media are on the horizon. Apple’s dedication to AI research underscores its commitment to delivering innovative and intelligent user experiences.

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