According to unnamed Apple employees who spoke to Bloomberg, Apple is “secretly” developing an artificial intelligence chatbot, ‘Apple GPT,’ to compete with big tech companies developing large language models (LLMs) and generative AI tools.
The rumored AI chatbot could lead to conversational AI capabilities built directly into iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS, accessible with their Apple ID, without downloading a third-party app.
“Apple GPT” And “Ajax”
Apple has reportedly built an AI framework called “Ajax” as the backbone of its generative AI chat.
Using “Ajax,” Apple engineers have made the internal chatbot that some call “Apple GPT”, similar to OpenAI’s popular technology, though details remain scarce.
Apple’s move into generative AI chatbots comes as companies like Meta and Google scramble to release new AI advancements months after being caught off guard by the buzz and capabilities of ChatGPT and other OpenAI products.
Training Data Sources
The policy mentions using Siri data to “develop and improve” these features and retaining some transcripts beyond two years for “ongoing improvement of Siri.”
This could allow Apple to leverage the data to train the AI models to respond more accurately to user requests.
Apple appears to be cautious about openly admitting to this practice. Nonetheless, it possesses a significant amount of technology that has access to a vast amount of data.
Watching ChatGPT Closely
In an interview with Good Morning America earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is excited about and closely looking at ChatGPT.
However, he expressed caution about the technology’s potential for bias and misinformation.
Competition For Big Tech And App Developers
If Apple successfully develops an AI chatbot, it could have significant implications for existing AI chatbots—particularly the ones on the App Store today.
In the productivity category, 11 of the top 50 apps offer an AI chatbot.
This group of apps includes OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Poe with the latest version of Claude 2, and Perplexity with GPT-4.
Screenshot from App Store, July 2023
This category doesn’t include AI chatbots accessible through a mobile browser or embedded in other apps offered by companies like Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat.
It remains unclear when or how Apple plans to deploy its chatbot technology to consumers. Some of Apple’s upcoming AI advancements were hinted at during the 2023 WWDC event.
Screenshot from Apple, June 2023
But Apple’s entrance into the space intensifies an AI arms race that could substantially alter how people interact with technology in the years ahead.
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