Apples Artificial Intelligence technology Apples Artificial Intelligence technology

Despite the buzz around AI in the tech industry, Apple's approach to this field has been significantly more muted. However, a closer examination reveals that the company is quietly ramping up its AI efforts, with potentially transformative implications for its range of products.

In May 2023, Apple added 28 new AI-focused job roles, signaling a shift towards more investment in artificial intelligence. These roles are mainly based in Cupertino, with some roles distributed across San Diego, Austin, and Seattle. The company's job postings indicate that it is particularly interested in "generative AI," a branch of artificial intelligence that involves creating new content or predictions based on learned patterns. The job descriptions for these roles suggest that Apple sees generative AI as a significant part of the future of mobile computing, potentially transforming the iPhone and iPad ecosystems. Furthermore, Apple has been testing natural language-generating features for Siri, indicating a focus on improving user interaction with their devices through AI. This influx of AI roles demonstrates Apple's intent to deepen its commitment to AI, even as it maintains a lower profile than competitors.

As other tech giants such as Microsoft and Google launch competing AI-powered products, Apple's relative silence in this domain has raised eyebrows. Some industry observers suggest that Apple's low-key approach to AI could put it at risk of being left behind by its competitors. However, Apple has a history of waiting until consumer demand solidifies before introducing new technologies, and it appears that AI may be no exception. Analysts predict that Apple's AI strategy will likely focus on enhancing existing technologies rather than launching standalone AI products. Despite criticism over the performance of AI-powered features like Siri and the Apple Watch's SOS feature, Apple is expected to announce major AI-related developments in the summer of 2023, suggesting that significant advancements may be on the horizon.

Apple has been actively ramping up its efforts in the field of AI, despite recently banning the use of AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT. The company has added 28 new AI-focused jobs just within the first three weeks of May. These positions range from senior engineers to research scientists, special project managers, and more. The job postings specifically mention "generative AI", indicating that Apple is investing heavily in this area. Overall, Apple currently has 88 open jobs with "AI" in the title, with more than half of them being new as of March 2023. A significant portion of these new AI jobs are based in Cupertino, but some are also located in San Diego, Austin, Seattle, and elsewhere.

Apple is testing new natural language-generating features for Siri, with some of the latest job listings aligning with this work. More broadly, Apple's generative AI is expected to be applied across its platforms and services. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has expressed interest in generative AI and the company's job descriptions suggest that they see generative AI as a transformative force for its mobile computing platforms, particularly the iPhone and iPad.

Regarding the company called Humane, it was founded in 2018 by ex-Apple executives, former director of software engineering Bethany Bongiorno and designer Imran Chaudhri. The company has recruited other staff from Apple, such as a former 5G modem lead, and an iCloud executive. Humane has been working on a software platform and a consumer device built from the ground up for artificial intelligence (AI). The company recently raised $100 million in what it calls a Series C round and announced strategic collaborations with Microsoft, OpenAI, Qualcomm, and SK Networks. Its first device, according to Chaudhry, is designed to enable people to carry AI with them everywhere. The company also has intentions to integrate its technology into cars and other devices, with investors like LG and Volvo Cars Tech Fund supporting this effort.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Humane intends to launch its first product this spring, and filed patents suggest that the company has been working on wearables.

In the face of competition, Apple appears to be doubling down on its own AI development efforts. While it is true that some former Apple employees have moved to Humane, Apple's recruitment drive for AI professionals suggests the company is far from stepping back in the AI race. However, more specific details about the company's AI projects remain undisclosed, in line with Apple's traditionally secretive approach to new technology development.

As for why Apple has been seemingly silent in the AI competition, it's important to note that the company often keeps its technological advancements and plans under wraps until they are ready for public release. This strategy is not unusual and allows the company to maintain a certain element of surprise and competitive advantage. So, while it may seem that Apple is less vocal in the AI space compared to other tech giants, it doesn't necessarily mean they are less active or less ambitious. Their recent AI hiring spree and the comments from Tim Cook suggest quite the opposite.

However, this is all the information available up to my knowledge cutoff in September 2021 and recent searches. To get the latest and most accurate information, you may want to look for more recent sources.

Regarding Humane, a secretive tech company founded by ex-Apple executives, it's unclear if its formation has had a significant impact on Apple's AI strategy. Humane, formed by Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri in 2018, has announced a shift towards AI and raised $100 million in funding. The company reportedly has been working on a "first-of-its-kind" software platform and a consumer device designed for AI, with the intent to "bring AI with them everywhere." However, as of spring 2023, Humane has yet to release a product, although patents suggest they've been working on wearables. While the company has attracted a number of former Apple employees, it's unclear if this has had a direct impact on Apple's AI strategy or development efforts.

In conclusion, while Apple's approach to AI might appear subdued when compared to its competitors, the company is making strategic moves to enhance its AI capabilities. However, Apple's strategy is not without challenges, including the need to improve the performance of its AI-powered features and the balancing act of addressing supply chain issues while driving AI development. As the AI landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Apple's stealthy strategy will play out.

Note: This article does not cover the full extent of Apple's latest AI news or all the reasons for Apple's relative silence in the AI competition among tech giants, as the information available is constantly evolving. Furthermore, the potential impact of Humane on Apple's AI strategy is a speculative topic that requires more concrete evidence to establish any direct correlation.

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K Dinesh Kumara

Founder of PC World Online Magazine

I'm an educator, entrepreneur, and career guidance officer. I'm interested in ICT, psychology, financial literacy, meditation, and yogic sciences. My hobbies are discovering, learning, experiencing, sharing, and exiling.

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