Gurman: Apple Working on On-Device LLM for Generative AI Features

Apple is developing its own large language model (LLM) that runs on-device to prioritize speed and privacy, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.

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Writing in his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that Apple's LLM underpins upcoming generative AI features. "All indications" apparently suggests that it will run entirely on-device, rather than via the cloud like most existing AI services.

Since they will run on-device, Apple's AI tools may be less capable in certain instances than its direct cloud-based rivals, but Gurman suggested that the company could "fill in the gaps" by licensing technology from Google and other AI service providers. Last month, Gurman reported that Apple was in discussions with Google to integrate its Gemini AI engine into the iPhone as part of iOS 18. The main advantages of on-device processing will be quicker response times and superior privacy compared to cloud-based solutions.

Apple's marketing strategy for its AI technology will apparently be based around how it can be useful to users' daily lives, rather than its power. Apple's broader AI strategy is expected to be revealed alongside previews of its major software updates at WWDC in June.

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Top Rated Comments

filmantopia Avatar
5 weeks ago
This is a great opportunity for Apple to do what they’re best at, which is to take existing powerful technologies and develop them in a way that people can actually make use of in their lives. Generative AI is incredible, but so far its value is relatively limited for most people.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fuzzball84 Avatar
5 weeks ago
There are huge benefits if this is done right. But I hope they allow the option for these aspects of the OS to be disabled… just as Siri can be disabled now…

AI should be a choice… especially at the OS level

I do admire apple doing as much as possible on device… this really can enhance privacy.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
5 weeks ago

Without it being able to access the internet for information, I'm not sure how useful it would be on an iOS device. I mean, better than nothing I suppose, but don't most people want up-to-date information when using their mobile devices?
An offline LLM means that Siri itself will be processed on device as it has been doing in a limited way for a couple of iOS generations now, but it can still make use of the web to fetch requests. It doesn't need to send your voice to the cloud to process, saving round trip time and preserving privacy.

A recent machine learning model Apple published with the capability to recognize apps' UI and how to use them, gives us a good indication of how this will work. Siri (offline) will be able to act on your behalf to use apps (online).

[HR][/HR]


User:
Siri, I'd like to have dinner with my girlfriend tonight at that place I walked by last week with the red umbrella. I took a photo of it.

Siri:
Looks at your Photos (offline), finds the red umbrella, geotagged,
locates the restaurant in Apple Maps (online),
brings up OpenTable (online) cues up a reservation after looking at your Calendar (offline).

That was Sandro's on College St. I've found you a reservation for 2 at 8pm. You get off work at 5, that should give you enough time to get home, get ready and head over to Sandro's. Ana's schedule also shows her free. Would you like me to book it?

User:
Yes... no, wait, can we do 8:30 instead? I'd like to get a bottle of wine, does Sandro's have a corking fee?

Siri:
Looks up OpenTable (online) to see if there's an 8:30pm reservation.
Looks up Sandro's website (online) and searches for a corking fee.
Looks up Apple Maps for nearby wine stores,
finds one that's on the Ritual app (online) so they can can bag your wine for pickup,
finds that you've ordered 2 different wines via Ritual.


Sandro's has a $6 corking fee. I found you an 8:30 reservation. Would you like Mateus Rose or Wolf Blass - Yellow Label Sauvignon? I can reserve it at the Wine Cellar, a short walk from Sandro's.

User:
Let's do Mateus. Go ahead and book the reservation please.

Siri:
Goes to OpenTable, places the reservation on your behalf.
Goes to Ritual, orders a bottle of Mateus Rose for pickup at 8pm.
Adds an event in your calendar with directions to the Wine Cellar
and another at 8:30pm with directions from there to Sandro's.
Creates a calendar invite for your girlfriend.


All set! Your Mateus Rose will be ready for pickup at 8pm, Sandro's at 8:30 on College St. and I've sent an invite to Ana.

[HR][/HR]

Local Siri processing without having to access the internet will enable free flowing conversations without a delay. Having the ability to recognize how to use apps on your phone will be the online component. You already use those apps online. I suspect Google will be one of them, to allow Siri to get current information from the internet, using Gemini and returning those answers the same way it can return search results today, but with the capability to make use of them to get you an answer and read them back to you.

Apple's advantage beyond building silicon custom made for its native Siri, is that it has the largest App Store with virtually unlimited potential (there's an app for everything). Give Siri the capability to understand how to use apps (like the model Apple just published) and you can imagine how far this can go.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TVreporter Avatar
5 weeks ago
Someone tell me why I should want or need generative AI?

#OldManYellsatCloud
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CausticSoda Avatar
5 weeks ago
I hope they know where they are going with this, because so far it seems unclear and muddled. If this it to be touted as the next big thing (which seems to be what Apple is doing) it needs to be seriously good, whether it is on device or cloud. If this is another Siri style disaster it will probably affect AAPL in the coming years.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
a m u n Avatar
5 weeks ago

It'll be interesting to see if Apple sides with Google to use Gemini, considering its iCloud servers are based on Google's. I wonder how deep the partnership really goes...
This is an example of misinformation.

Apple operates its own data centers and integrates Google Cloud and Amazon AWS for various purposes. These external cloud services may be utilized to enhance Apple’s infrastructure during peak usage periods or for specific functionalities.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)