In a world where more and more tech companies are jumping on the generative AI bandwagon, it seems that Apple is starting to take note. And it's working on one of its very own.
Dubbed 'Apple GPT' by some, it's reported that Apple has already created its own chatbot service that is being used inside Apple, although it isn't yet clear whether that will find its way into the public domain as a standalone service.
But Apple is said to have built its own framework for creating large language models like ChatGPT. That framework is called Ajax, and it's already starting to bear fruit.
AI as far as the eye can see
This is all according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman which is itself based on reports from people who have asked not to be identified for obvious reasons.
Following the popularity of ChatGPT and similar generative AI and chatbot tools, Apple is now beginning to take note.
"Behind the scenes, Apple has grown concerned about missing a potentially paramount shift in how devices operate," Gurman reports. "Generative AI promises to transform how people interact with phones, computers and other technology. And Apple’s devices, which produced revenue of nearly $320 billion in the last fiscal year, could suffer if the company doesn’t keep up with AI advances."
To combat its delayed entry into the field, Apple "began laying the foundation for AI services with the Ajax framework, as well as a ChatGPT-like tool for use internally. Ajax was first created last year to unify machine learning development at Apple, according to the people familiar with the effort."
Work on Ajax has already helped improve search, Siri, and Maps and it's now being used "to create large language models and serve as the foundation for the internal ChatGPT-style tool."
That internal Apple GPT tool is now being used inside Apple, but only by a limited number of people who receive special access. Apple is said not to have a concrete plan for when all of this will turn into something customer-facing, although "people familiar with the work believe Apple is aiming to make a significant AI-related announcement next year."
To make that happen Apple is said to be keen to hire more AI experts, with Siri seemingly the most obvious place for their work to be centered. If that's the case, the WWDC 2024 announcement of iOS 18 is already shaping up to be an interesting one.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.