Despite the AI initiative: Supposedly not a direct ChatGPT competitor from Apple
According to one report, Apple is not working on a direct competitor to ChatGPT – at least nothing reminiscent of the currently extremely popular chatbots, which have reached hundreds of millions of users in a few months. This is what the well-known Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman assumes in his latest newsletter from the weekend. While OpenAI and its partner Microsoft have just presented the GPT-4 language model and Apple competitors such as Google and Facebook have been working on Large Language Models (LLMs) for years, Apple has not heard anything in this regard so far.
What could Apple do?
Recently, only speculation has been circulating that Apple is testing a language AI for telling jokes with the language assistant Siri on Apple TV devices – which itself seems like a joke. At an AI summit of the iPhone group, which was open to all employees, little came out. Former Apple employees, who were themselves involved in Siri, meanwhile suspect to US media that the substructure of the language assistant is unsuitable for large language models.
Apple has long been at the forefront of language assistants. Siri first appeared in 2011. But since then, competitors like Google (Assistant) or Amazon (Alexa) have caught up, and there is no sign of the very variable language capability of systems like ChatGPT for miles. Instead, users have to remember Siri commands. Sometimes Apple also changes these abruptly, so that you have to relearn. Compared to the OpenAI models, Siri looks like a VW Beetle compared to a Tesla Model S Plaid for some users.
Apple is cautious
Gurman goes on to say that Apple “didn’t communicate anything particularly forward-thinking” at its AI summit, which included employees from corporate, AppleCare, and even Apple Store Retail. The internal meeting takes place annually, so far with little public observation. “Nothing was said about ChatGPT,” even if there were hints, the report said.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that Apple isn’t pursuing corresponding internal projects. But anyone who knows the slow progress with Siri should not hope that there will be something comparable to Apple’s ChatGPT in a few months. OpenAI in particular with its partner Microsoft and various start-ups – such as Claude from Anthropic – are currently making giant strides. Google and Facebook are also reluctant to publish their systems because they want to make sure that no one can fool around with them. But here, too, a lot can be expected by summer at the latest.