Apple wants to put an AI in your pocket
Apple has been playing its cards close to its chest when it comes to AI. While rival Microsoft has jumped on the ChatGPT bandwagon and is integrating AI into everything despite the bugs and hallucinations, the acronym didn’t even get a mention at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Reports emerged in July, however, that Apple was working on its own generative AI tool, dubbed internally “Apple GPT,” which uses a large language model (LLM) framework called Ajax. On this week’s quarterly earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said Apple was enthusiastic about the technology and has incorporated AI into forthcoming iOS17 features like Personal Voice (voice cloning and text-to-speech) and Live Voicemail (live transcription). He added:
“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, with the goal of enriching people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about for us. As you know, we tend to announce things as they come to market, that’s our M.O., and I’d like to stick to that.”
Of course, what everyday users want to know is whether Siri will be getting an AI upgrade. And they certainly appear to be working on it, with the Financial Times reporting that Apple is hiring dozens of researchers and engineers to work on “compressing existing language models so they can run efficiently on mobile devices, rather than in the cloud.” The ads indicated the company is fully focused on bringing LLM technology to mobiles.
There are speed, privacy and security reasons to run the AI locally on the phone hardware rather than in the cloud, given concerns over OpenAI and Claude hoovering up all your personal and business data. Back in 2020, Apple spent $200 million snapping up Seattle startup Xnor, which focuses on this exact problem.
Passwords even more useless due to AI
Even prior to the advent of AI, computing technology had progressed to the point where the average eight-character password — using a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and a special character as recommended — could be cracked in around five minutes. New research indicates that AI…