Apple is taking a strategic and measured approach to its involvement in the field of generative AI. Unlike other tech giants that have been more visibly active in the AI space, Apple has maintained a relatively low profile while exploring and developing its AI capabilities.
One significant aspect of Apple's approach is its reported negotiation with major news and publishing organizations. Apple is said to have proposed multiyear deals worth at least $50 million to license the archives of news articles. This initiative is aimed at training its AI models, particularly in the development of generative artificial intelligence systems. However, the response from publishers has been mixed, with some being lukewarm about the idea. This move indicates Apple's interest in enhancing its AI capabilities, potentially for its existing products like Siri.
Apple's Neural Engine plays a crucial role in its AI strategy. The Neural Engine, embedded in Apple devices, facilitates computationally intensive tasks while maintaining privacy and utilizing on-device intelligence rather than relying on cloud-based systems. This approach aligns with Apple's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and meeting climate goals. The Neural Engine's capabilities extend beyond current applications, such as the Detection Mode in Magnifier and the new Personal Voice feature, suggesting that Apple sees significant potential in developing on-device AI.
In terms of practical applications, Apple has already integrated AI technologies into some of its products. For example, the company has improved autocorrect features in iOS 17 using transformer models, a type of AI. This demonstrates Apple's gradual but focused approach to incorporating AI into its product offerings.
Apple's cautious and strategic approach to generative AI reflects its broader philosophy towards technology development. Rather than rushing to compete in the AI race, Apple seems to be focused on thoughtful and deliberate integration of AI into its products, ensuring that its AI developments align with its core values of privacy, user experience, and environmental sustainability. While the company has been less vocal about its AI initiatives compared to others like OpenAI or Google, it's clear that Apple is actively working to enhance its AI capabilities, albeit in a more behind-the-scenes manner.