Apple has a longstanding reputation for developing its products inside of a walled garden. While “Ajax,” which Bloomberg reports some engineers have referred to as “Apple GPT,” could eventually turn into a consumer-facing product, its current infrastructure could pose a problem.
Apple’s track record concerning AI demonstrates that the company is privacy-focused when it concerns machine learning technology. For this reason, most of its efforts are focused on AI technologies that can be run using onboard processors instead of cloud-based services.
Chatbot technology, such as ChatGPT, typically requires internet connectivity to work. While it’s possible to run a chatbot on discrete architecture, such as the AI chip on an iPhone, the model size and capabilities are constrained by the device’s hardware.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Its most famous AI system is Siri, the voice assistant that helped kick-start the trend among tech companies, but critics have long claimed Siri still has a long way to go. To help bolster its efforts, Apple hired John Giannandrea, who previously headed up AI and search at Google, in 2018 to oversee Siri and its machine learning teams.
Several teams are involved in the effort, which is led by John Giannandrea, the company's head of machine learning and AI, and Craig Federighi, Apple's top software engineering executive, the report said.
The company could make significant AI-related announcements next year, according to the report. Other companies have begun working together to release different LLMs to startups and researchers. Meta announced Tuesday that its LLM LLaMA 2 will be accessible on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Microsoft also runs OpenAI’s GPT model on its Bing search product.
Apple employees are using the chatbot to help with product prototyping. The chatbot can be used to summarize text and answer questions based on data it has been trained with.
The company’s chatbot is similar to Bard, ChatGPT and Bing AI, as it doesn’t feature any additional features that separates it from what’s currently commercially available.
The report comes as Apple has been on the hunt for generative AI talent. The company has posted a handful of job postings on its career page seeking experts in generative AI. It’s looking for engineers with a “robust understanding of large language models and generative AI.”
As companies like Google, Microsoft and Meta moved quickly to release generative AI products to the public, Apple has remained somewhat quiet on the AI front. Although the tech giant has released AI features across its products and apps for years, it’s now looking to catch up with the consumer demand for generative AI tools that can help with tasks like drafting essays and images.