Apple is developing artificial intelligence tools to challenge OpenAI, Google and others, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The tech giant has created a chatbot that some engineers are internally referring to as “Apple GPT.” Apple has yet to determine a strategy for releasing the technology to consumers, but is reportedly aiming to make a significant AI-related announcement next year.
The report says Apple has built its own framework, codenamed “Ajax,” to create large language models, which are AI-based systems that power offerings like Open AI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard. Ajax runs on Google Cloud and was built with Google JAX, the search giant’s machine learning framework, according to Bloomberg. Apple is leveraging Ajax to create large language models and serve as the foundation for the internal ChatGPT-style tool.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The internal rollout of the chatbot was halted for awhile due to security concerns about generative AI, but has since been made available to more Apple employees. Although more employees are getting access to the chatbot, it requires special approval for access. Bloomberg reports that any output from the chatbot can’t be used to develop features bound for customers.
Apple employees are using the chatbot to help with product prototyping. The chatbot can be used to summarize text and answer questions based on data it has been trained with.
The company’s chatbot is similar to Bard, ChatGPT and Bing AI, as it doesn’t feature any additional features that separates it from what’s currently commercially available.
The report comes as Apple has been on the hunt for generative AI talent. The company has posted a handful of job postings on its career page seeking experts in generative AI. It’s looking for engineers with a “robust understanding of large language models and generative AI.”
As companies like Google, Microsoft and Meta moved quickly to release generative AI products to the public, Apple has remained somewhat quiet on the AI front. Although the tech giant has released AI features across its products and apps for years, it’s now looking to catch up with the consumer demand for generative AI tools that can help with tasks like drafting essays and images.
The report says Apple is focused on trying to address potential privacy concerns related to artificial intelligence. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that although the tech giant would add AI to more of its offerings, it would do so on a “thoughtful basis.”
Originally published on TechCrunch.com