Apple is making strides in artificial intelligence (AI), challenging other tech giants like OpenAI and Google, as it develops a new chatbot internally referred to as “Apple GPT”. The company, however, is still determining a strategy for making this technology available to consumers and is reportedly planning a significant AI-related announcement next year.
The report indicates that Apple has built its own framework, codenamed “Ajax”, for creating large language models. These are AI-based systems that power services like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. Remarkably, Ajax operates on Google Cloud and was built using Google JAX, the search giant’s machine learning framework. Apple is utilizing Ajax to develop large language models and serve as the foundation for its internal ChatGPT-style tool.
Apple briefly halted the internal rollout of the chatbot due to security concerns regarding generative AI but has since made it accessible to a larger pool of Apple employees. Despite this expanded access, the chatbot still requires special approval for usage. It’s important to note that any output from the chatbot cannot be used for developing customer-bound features.
Within Apple, the chatbot is being utilized for product prototyping, with abilities to summarize text and answer questions based on its training data.
As of now, Apple's chatbot is similar to Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing AI, without any distinguishing features that set it apart from commercially available counterparts.
Apple's efforts in the realm of generative AI have become evident with several job postings on its career page seeking expertise in this domain. The company is actively seeking engineers with a robust understanding of large language models and generative AI.
While rivals like Google, Microsoft, and Meta have quickly released generative AI products to the public, Apple has been relatively quiet on the AI front. The company has long integrated AI features across its product range and apps, and is now aiming to meet consumer demand for generative AI tools that can assist with tasks like drafting essays and images.
In line with its reputation for maintaining user privacy, Apple is making concerted efforts to address potential privacy concerns related to AI. As stated by Apple CEO Tim Cook, while the tech giant plans to incorporate more AI into its offerings, it aims to do so on a “thoughtful basis.”