Tim Cook reveals Apple has been working on generative AI for years, says they will continue investing


In an interview with Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company has been making long-standing investments in generative AI, which is evidently reflected in their expenditures on research and development.

Back in 2011, Apple impressed the world with Siri, a virtual assistant for our phones. It could perform tasks like playing music, telling jokes, and identifying incoming calls – a groundbreaking innovation at the time. Then, in 2014, Amazon introduced Alexa, another virtual assistant, sparking comparisons between the two and passionate debates among fans over their merits.

Now, the scene is changing again with the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, ushering in the era of generative artificial intelligence. Following ChatGPT’s launch, Microsoft and Google swiftly unveiled their own chatbots, Bing and Bard, contributing to the buzz around AI advancements. Yet, a lingering question remains in the minds of tech enthusiasts: Where does Apple stand in the AI race?

Apple has yet to unveil its own generative AI model, unlike its competitors. However, CEO Tim Cook recently dropped a subtle hint that something significant is in the works from the tech giant.

Cook acknowledged Apple’s long-standing investment in AI during an interview with Reuters. He highlighted how this investment is reflected in the company’s research and development spending. Indeed, Apple’s research and development expenses have reached USD 22.61 billion for the current fiscal year, marking an increase of USD 3.12 billion compared to the same period last year.

Speaking to Reuters, Cook remarked, “We’ve been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years. We’re going to continue investing and innovating and responsibly advancing our products with these technologies to help enrich people’s lives. Obviously, we’re investing a lot, and it is showing up in the R&D spending that you’re looking at.”

Simultaneously, Apple is actively recruiting for roles in the generative AI field, evident from its US careers page. A search for ‘Generative AI’ returns 48 results, offering positions like Multimodal Generative Modeling Research Engineer, Visual Generative Modeling Research Engineer, and Machine Learning Engineer – Generative AI. These openings signal Apple’s intent to tap into the world of generative artificial intelligence.

Although Apple has not officially confirmed the imminent launch of its generative AI tool, its robust hiring efforts in this domain raise speculation about its intention to compete with offerings like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing.

Reports from March this year also indicated that Apple was exploring generative AI technology. However, the tech giant has yet to provide any concrete confirmation or details.

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