Apple Spending Millions of Dollars a Day on Conversational AI

Apple has significantly ramped up its spending on artificial intelligence, according to a new report from The Information that highlights Apple's AI and machine learning research.

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Though Apple's AI chief John Giannandrea is said to be skeptical of AI chatbots, he established a team that is working on conversational AI four years ago. We have heard prior rumors about "Apple GPT" from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Gurman in July said that Apple was experimenting with large language models, and some Apple employees have access to an "Ajax" internal chatbot.

With the 2022 debut of OpenAI's ChatGPT, chatbots suddenly became the must-have feature. Microsoft and Google have both launched chatbots, but there are so far no signs that Apple has a consumer-oriented product launching in the near future.

Apple's "Foundational Models" team that works on conversational AI includes just 16 people, but Apple is spending millions of dollars per day training its language models. Training large language models requires a lot of hardware, and as an example, OpenAI Sam Altman said the company spent more than $100 million for GPT-4.

According to The Information, Apple has other AI goals. The company is aiming to develop a feature that would allow a voice assistant like Siri to automate multi-step tasks. That functionality is available on the iPhone today, but workflows must be manually set up using the Shortcuts app.

The ‌Siri‌ team could have multi-step voice-controlled automation ready for use in iOS 18.

Apple also appears to have AI teams that are working on software to generate videos and images and multimodal AI that works with images, video, and text. The aforementioned Ajax chatbot that Apple is working with is supposedly more capable than the original ChatGPT 3.5 and has been trained on 200 billion parameters, but OpenAI's newer models are more powerful.

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Top Rated Comments

zach-coleman Avatar
10 months ago
Considering how Google and Amazon are decreasing work on their voice assistants due to them not making enough money, I think Apple actually has a shot at taking the first place trophy next year for voice assistant for the first time since they were the only option… That would be a wild shake up in the state of affairs.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macmac30 Avatar
10 months ago
4 years…that’s great. In the meantime….

Hey Siri, add olive oil to the shopping list
Hang on a sec…
Still trying…

Hey Siri, volume 30
Hey Siri????
Hey Siri, volume 30!!!
One sec…
I‘m having a problem…

I swear to God, I almost threw my new large paired Homepods out the window while cooking dinner last night!!!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
toobravetosave Avatar
10 months ago
Hey siri set a 5 minute timer

Ok, I’ve started your car and ordered 7000tons of glass beads on ebay to Aunt Diedre’s home address
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
locovaca Avatar
10 months ago
Can we walk before we run? I just want single step tasks to be reliable.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
10 months ago
Much needed investment, Siri is hot garbage right now. Hopefully, this R&D will greatly improve Siri’s reliability and utility
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
10 months ago

Apple is not known to hurry; they take their time and get it right.
Like with Siri, Maps & Music? ?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)