Apple’s years of work on generative AI confirmed by Tim Cook

Sometimes it may appear as if Apple is falling behind in developing some new technologies or systems, but then the tech giant surprises us with solutions that are much better, complete, and innovative, putting other companies in a position where it might take them years to catch up. For example, it looks like this might happen with Apple Vision Pro entering the AR/VR market.Recently, AI has been developing at such a high speed, and some have wondered why Apple is not participating in the race, leaving the top spots to Microsoft and Google. Well, it turns out Apple is indeed working on generative AI. According to Reuters, Tim Cook confirmed that the tech giant has been working on AI technologies for years.

In an interview, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer shared that the increased research and development spending the company has shown for the fiscal year so far was, in part, driven by its work on generative AI. Apple’s investment in R&D has reached $22.61 billion, exceeding the previous year’s by $3.12 billion.

The pursuit of innovative AI technologies has led tech companies to allocate more financial resources. In the interview with Reuters, Tim Cook said that Apple will continue to invest and innovate its products using AI technologies to “help enrich people’s lives.” He also added, “Obviously, we’re investing a lot, and it is showing up in the R&D spending you’re looking at.”

What is Apple’s role in the AI field?

Previous rumors suggested that Apple is working on its own AI platform, similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which unlike one of the most popular chatbots right now, is intended for internal company use only. Furthermore, it really looks like, regardless of Apple working on new AI technologies, they would not be available to the public, at least not soon.

Just a few days ago, after a request from the White House, big tech companies working in the AI field formed an AI-focused association called the Frontier Model Forum. Its main goal is to ensure the safe and responsible development of frontier AI models. Apple is not part of this association, meaning its AI developments might indeed be used only for internal needs, at least for now.

Despite not officially announcing the use of AI in its products, Apple has already implemented advanced machine learning models into its iPhone camera and in its voice assistant, Siri. Rumors also suggest that the iPhone 15 will come with AI integration in the iOS Health app.

We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds. Yet, given Apple’s track record of achieving the unthinkable with its products, it would be no surprise if the company reshapes the AI field and how we, as regular users, interact with AI.