Apple’s been relatively quiet about AI — but it’s been pouring billions into research, and that could mean a ‘smarter’ Siri – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Apple’s been relatively quiet about AI — but it’s been pouring billions into research, and that could mean a ‘smarter’ Siri

Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Since the AI boom began, Apple has been quieter about incorporating the new technology than its peers.Bloomberg reported the company’s lag in the AI race is considered a “pretty big miss internally.”To catch up, the company is planning updates to Siri that incorporate AI.

Apple is working toward releasing a new version of Siri that incorporates AI technology after a quieter start with large language models compared to its competitors.

Apple Senior Vice Presidents John Giannandrea and Craig Federighi — who are in charge of AI and software engineering — are overseeing the AI developments at the company, per Bloomberg’s reporting.

Giannandrea’s team is developing new AI systems. His employees are reworking a “smarter ” Siri that uses them, per Bloomberg. The new Siri could launch as soon as next year but may take longer, per Bloomberg.

Federighi’s team is also working hard to add AI to the subsequent versions of iOS, which should allow for improved response and auto-completion components to both Siri and the Messages app.

As the teams work, other internal debates have been raging about whether generative AI should be “on-device” or “cloud-based” — per Bloomberg, on-device AI would be faster and more private, but a cloud-based AI could allow for more advanced capabilities. Per Forbes, on the cloud system, AI can flourish because it has much broader access to learn and develop from data.

Over the past year, the company hasn’t jumped on the AI train like other tech companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Google — behind the scenes, though, Apple has been feeling severe pressure to catch up.

“There’s a lot of anxiety about this and it’s considered a pretty big miss internally,” a source told Bloomberg, referring to the company being “caught off guard” by the sudden rush to incorporate AI.

This summer, Apple raised eyebrows during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote when CEO Tim Cook and other company executives didn’t mention the term “AI” once.

But Apple’s lag doesn’t mean they haven’t been thinking of AI before this year: “We’ve been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years,” Cook told Reuters in August. Cook added that the company’s spending on research and development was up this year by about $3.12 billion more than at the same point last year due to increased spending on AI.

Apple has also been working on its own AI model — Ajax — which the company has used to power an internal chatbot that some employees call “Apple GPT,” Bloomberg reported in July, citing anonymous sources.

In September, sources told The Information that Ajax was trained on “more than 200 billion parameters” and was more potent than OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.

Parameters are what an AI model uses to learn. GPT-3.5 uses 175 billion parameters and powers the free version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

And to be sure, while Apple’s AI push may have been muted, it is predominantly a hardware company. Most of Apple’s over $81.8 billion in sales in the third quarter stems from its hardware, with the iPhone alone making up $39.6 billion of that amount.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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