Tim Cook Makes Bold Prediction About Apple’s GenAI Advancements for the Year Ahead

Tim Cook says Apple will ‘break new ground’ in GenAI this yearApple CEO Tim Cook is promising that Apple will “break new ground” on GenAI this year. Some of the staff on the EV project were reassigned to work on various GenAI initiatives, according to multiple publications. $AAPL COOK: APPLE WILL "BREAK NEW GROUND" IN GENERATIVE AI THIS YEAR — *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) February 28, 2024Apple, unlike many of its Big Tech rivals, has been slow to invest in — and ramp up — GenAI. During the company’s Q1 earnings call, Cook said Apple was working internally with GenAI but that it was taking a slower, more deliberate approach to customer-facing incarnations of the technology. Perhaps telegraphing Apple’s intensifying GenAI focus, engineers at the company have co-authored an increasing number of GenAI-related academic and technical papers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised that this year, the company will “break new ground” in the exciting field of Generative Artificial Intelligence, also known as GenAI. This announcement was made during Apple’s annual shareholders meeting, which comes on the heels of reports that the company has scrapped its decade-long plan to build an electric vehicle. However, some employees involved in the EV project have been reassigned to work on various GenAI initiatives, according to multiple sources.

Cook shared the news on Twitter, citing the company’s stock symbol $AAPL and stating that Apple will be pushing the boundaries in GenAI this year: “COOK: APPLE WILL “BREAK NEW GROUND” IN GENERATIVE AI THIS YEAR – *Walter Bloomberg (@Deltone) February 28, 2024.

Unlike many of its Big Tech counterparts, Apple has been relatively slow in investing and implementing GenAI technology. During the company’s Q1 earnings call, Cook mentioned that Apple is currently utilizing GenAI internally, but taking a more measured approach when it comes to integrating it into customer-facing products. So far, Apple has only briefly touched upon GenAI in recent press conferences and announcements, such as its introduction of new autocorrect and text prediction features in iOS last year.

However, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has big plans for GenAI in the near future. The company is rumored to be upgrading its virtual assistant Siri and its built-in search tool, Spotlight, with GenAI models. This move is expected to enable both to handle more complex queries and hold sophisticated, multi-turn conversations. Additionally, Apple is exploring GenAI-powered features that will allow users to effortlessly generate presentation slides in Keynote, create personalized playlists in Apple Music, and even provide coding suggestions in Xcode, its app development platform.

Some of these – or none – could possibly be incorporated into the upcoming versions of iOS, MacOS, and iPadOS, which are set to be showcased at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this summer.

In what appears to be a clear signal of Apple’s increasing emphasis on GenAI, engineers at the company have co-authored a growing number of academic and technical papers on the topic. One such paper explains a unique system that can produce animated 3D avatars from short videos. Another details a tool called Keyframer, which has the ability to animate still images.

What’s more, Apple has recently released numerous open source models and tools that enable developers to build software powered by GenAI. In October, the company unveiled Ferret, a chatbot that utilizes an existing open source model, Vicuna. Earlier this year, it launched MGIE, a model that can alter images based on natural language commands.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is investing a whopping $1 billion a year into ramping up its GenAI game, including projects such as a proprietary large language model known as Ajax and an internal chatbot called Apple GPT. There are even talks of potential new hardware, with rumors swirling about significant upgrades to the Neural Engine, Apple’s specialized on-device chip for accelerating AI processing, in the upcoming iPhone 16 models.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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