Apple seems to be the only company not enthusiastically bouncing on board the generative AI bandwagon. This is for a variety of reasons. The company is notoriously cagey about anything it’s doing, preferring to remain silent until it thinks it can reliably blow minds. Plus, this artificial intelligence thing is tricky and apparently the tech giant is trying to do it right.
A new report suggests a timeline for when we might see more advanced AI appear on iPhones around the world. The soonest it will occur, according to analyst Jeff Pu, is when Apple unleashes iOS 18 onto the world. That timeline puts it around September 2024, which isn’t close by when you consider the rapid pace of AI development.
Apple of my AI
According to Pu, who works on behalf of Hong Kong investment firm Haitong International Securities, Apple will introduce AI on its handsets as a combination of the cloud structure seen in applications like ChatGPT and ‘edge AI’. The latter is carried out on-device and would be in keeping with the company’s recent software developments. On-device processing makes devices more secure. There are other reasons to do this, too.
There are suggestions that the timeline is longer than Pu is making it out to be. Mark Gurman, he of the wonderful track record, said earlier this year that Apple hasn’t yet settled on a concrete strategy for how to handle AI. Ming-Chi Kuo has said that the iPhone maker is far behind in its development of a viable artificial intelligence system. The Information reports that the company will simply beef up Siri by dropping large language model support into the digital assistant but didn’t go into a release timeline.
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The folks at Cupertino are definitely working on the technology. It has, over the past few years, acquired several AI companies. CEO Tim Cook, speaking in an interview with Forbes earlier this year, said “…we’re going to approach it [artificial intelligence] really thoughtfully and think about it deeply, because we’re fully aware of the not-good uses that it can have, and the issues around bias and hallucination and so forth.” This could be a sensible business approach or it could be the company buying time until it has something to show off. The way Apple works, either one is possible.