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Apple Developing Rival Chatbot to Challenge OpenAI and Google
Apple is secretly developing its own AI-powered chatbot, aiming to compete against systems like ChatGPT and Google's Bard, according to a new report by Bloomberg.
Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reveals that Apple engineers have built a conversational chatbot codenamed "Apple GPT" that can answer questions and summarize text. The project is still in early stages, but demonstrates Apple's ambitions in the red-hot generative AI space.
Apple has built its chatbot using a customized large language model framework called Ajax, which leverages Google's JAX machine learning tools and runs on Google Cloud. While details are scarce, Ajax appears tailored to crafting the complex natural language models that make chatbots like ChatGPT possible.
The Apple GPT chatbot is already available internally to some employees, subject to special approval. It features capabilities similar to existing chatbots, without any obvious differentiating features yet. Apple has paused rolling it out more widely due to concerns about generative AI safety.
Any outputs from the chatbot supposedly cannot be used for real customer-facing products, as Apple continues debating its strategy. But the company has ramped up generative AI hiring and could announce a major AI initiative in 2023.
Apple's conservative approach contrasts with the rush by rivals to release chatbots, even imperfect ones, seizing on the ChatGPT zeitgeist. But Apple's patience could pay off if it eventually launches a thoughtfully crafted chatbot aligning with its branding and values.
Privacy is expected to be a focus. Apple CEO Tim Cook has emphasized developing AI responsibly. The company lacks rivals' vast data for training models, meaning reinventing chatbot technology while minimizing data collection will be critical.
An Apple chatbot integrated into iPhones and other devices could be a hit with consumers. It would also strengthen Apple's services ecosystem. But generative AI remains controversial, facing criticism about bias, misinformation and other harms.
For now, Apple's efforts remain shrouded in secrecy. But if Apple GPT ever sees the light of day, it could profoundly reshape the tech landscape and once again shake up artificial intelligence. The chatbot wars are just getting started.