Tim Cook wants you to know Apple's working on AI, just don't expect it anytime soon

ChatGPT on iPhone with siri
(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

During a call with investors after announcing Apple’s fourth quarter results for the year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked a question about the company’s endeavors with AI, with a predictable answer.

He was quick to mention, at the 42:10 mark, that the company has been investing heavily in machine learning for years. Features like Personal Voice, Siri Suggestions, and more have been part of this. But when pressed on generative AI like ChatGPT, he acknowledged that Apple was looking into it.

“In terms of generative AI we have work going on, obviously. I’m not going to get into details about what it is, because as you know, we really don’t do that,” Cook explained. “But you can bet that we’re investing. We’re investing quite a bit. We’re going to do it responsibly, and you will see product advancements over time where those technologies are at the heart of them.”

Apple was allegedly caught off-guard by the rise of AI in 2023. ChatGPT is being integrated into a bunch of apps and services, from Google Bard to Spark Mail. While Apple had already been working on some features, the fast turnaround of OpenAI and more have accelerated the company’s plans to implement AI in a handful of its apps.

What could benefit from an ‘Apple AI’?

MacWhisper 2 on macOS

(Image credit: iMore)

The obvious first choice would be Siri. Since its debut in 2011, the smart assistant has proven to not be so smart. Refusing to do simple tasks like creating Apple Music playlists or creating lists in Apple Notes has frustrated many users. To have Siri supercharged by AI that rivals ChatGPT would be a compelling feature to own an Apple product, and could remove a lot of the frustrations that users have had with Siri.

Apple Music would be another good example of using AI. Having this create playlists based on what you’re doing for the day, or simply asking it to create one with ten tracks from the 90s, would save a lot of time for someone doing it themselves.

We could go on, but AI has proved, in rare instances anyway due to the fears that it can replace jobs, that it can be useful. MacWhisper, for example, uses AI to transcribe conversations from saved files, while AnyMoji lets you create an emoji from a query.

So it will be interesting to see what Apple does in the space, especially if these efforts appear in iOS 18 in 2024.

More from iMore

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.