Apple's Push into Artificial Intelligence with Ajax
July 20th, 2023
As we move further into the age of artificial intelligence (AI), industry behemoths are racing to develop and integrate advanced AI into their products and services. One such giant, Apple, is making meaningful strides in this space, despite a relatively quiet approach compared to others.
A series of reports have unveiled Apple's considerable investments and strategic initiatives in AI research and development. This commitment has culminated in a dedicated team of over 1,000 AI researchers and engineers.
Apple's AI-centric strategy extends beyond R&D, with various AI features being integrated into its products. From enhanced Live Text and Visual Look Up capabilities to real-time translations and the AI-powered augmented reality headset, Vision Pro, Apple's focus on enhancing user experiences with AI is apparent.
However, the company's ambitions in AI are not just limited to product enhancements. Apple is making significant strides towards challenging AI pioneers, including OpenAI and Google. A Bloomberg report, authored by Mark Gurman, recently revealed Apple's development of a chatbot, intriguingly referred to as "Apple GPT" internally.
Apple's journey in creating its own large language models, akin to OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard, is powered by a newly-developed framework known as "Ajax." Interestingly, Ajax utilizes Google's machine learning framework and runs on Google Cloud, pointing towards a unique intertwining of rivals in the AI landscape.
Apple's chatbot is currently being used internally for product prototyping, helping to summarize text and answer questions based on its training data. Although its functionality mirrors similar AI systems, it's the careful and thoughtful approach to AI implementation that sets Apple apart. The company is aiming to make a significant AI-related announcement next year, raising anticipation about its AI offerings.
Despite a less pronounced public stance on AI compared to companies like Alphabet and Microsoft, Apple has been subtly integrating advanced AI into its products, including Apple Photos, on-device texting, and the recently launched Vision Pro. However, critics argue that Apple lags behind its peers, pointing to the relatively stagnant development of Siri, Apple's voice assistant.
Apple's foray into AI is led by a collaborative team spearheaded by John Giannandrea, the head of machine learning and AI, and Craig Federighi, the company's top software engineering executive. As part of this journey, Apple is actively seeking generative AI talent, as evidenced by multiple job postings.
As Apple progresses in the AI space, one aspect remains unwavering – its commitment to privacy. This commitment to balance innovation with privacy reflects in Tim Cook's assurance that the company would continue to enhance its offerings with AI on a "thoughtful basis."
The advent of AI represents a new chapter for Apple, and its strategic moves in this realm suggest that the company is set to make a significant impact on the AI landscape. It's clear that Apple's investment in AI extends beyond financials, marking a dedication to transforming our interaction with technology, with user-centricity at its core.