Apple CEO Highlights Existing AI Features, Confirms Work on Generative AI
During Apple’s latest earnings call, CEO Tim Cook responded to claims that Apple trails in AI development by highlighting several existing features enabled by AI tech.
Cook also confirmed Apple is actively working on generative AI capabilities.
While not labeled as “AI” to consumers, Cook asserted breakthroughs like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail demonstrate Apple’s innovation in artificial intelligence. However, Apple seems to lag competitors in emerging areas like generative text and speech AI.
Everyday Apple Features Showcase AI Capabilities
Cook outlined how new iOS 17 additions like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail, though not marketed as AI, rely heavily on artificial intelligence.
Personal Voice utilizes machine learning on-device to create a customized automated voice replicating the user’s own voice. Live Voicemail displays real-time transcripts of voicemails using speech recognition AI.
Additional everyday Apple features like fall detection on iPhones and ECG on Apple Watch also employ advanced AI, Cook noted. He suggested Apple focuses on consumer benefits rather than leading with “AI” branding.
Apple Investing Heavily in AI Development
While highlighting Apple’s existing AI strengths, Cook acknowledged the company is pouring extensive resources into developing new generative AI technologies as well.
Reports indicate Apple is spending millions per day on initiatives around large language models and other areas of AI. Cook confirmed significant investment in responsible AI advancement but declined to provide specifics.
He hinted at future AI-enabled improvements to products like Siri and Messages. But Apple seems to be playing catch-up in generative text and speech AI where rivals have surged ahead.
iOS Updates to Add More AI Capabilities
According to reports, upcoming iOS updates will incorporate enhanced AI capabilities across Apple’s products and services.
This includes expanding Siri’s skills through natural language processing, adding autocomplete to Messages, and integrating generative AI into developer tools like Xcode.
But Apple’s assistant Siri still relies heavily on manually programmed actions rather than fluid AI capabilities seen in Google Assistant and Alexa. Expanding Siri through AI remains a key priority.
Apple Taking Measured Approach Amid AI Hype
As companies like Google, Microsoft and Baidu rush to release experimental conversational AI apps, Apple appears to be taking a more cautious road.
Cook reiterated that Apple will integrate new AI technology responsibly over time. This likely rules out launching direct competitors to viral sensation ChatGPT immediately.
However, Apple risks allowing rivals to cement dominance in areas like generative AI. But Cook seems content with Apple’s strategy of gradual, deliberate AI advancement.
Focus Remains on Integration With Products
Apple’s focus remains on practical AI applications that improve its existing products and services, rather than chasing AI hype cycles.
But Cook recognizes Apple eventually needs more fundamental AI building blocks in place to match competitors’ rapid progress.
While already powering key features users depend on, Apple’s foundational AI research still lags peers. Cook aims to close those gaps, but in keeping with Apple’s DNA of polished consumer experiences.