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After lagging behind Big Tech, Apple expected to kickstart AI efforts

1 week ago 27

Big Tech has put all its eggs in one basket in the past year: artificial intelligence (AI). Microsoft and OpenAI's efforts to leverage the viral technology were matched by Mark Zuckerberg's Meta Technology. Google, albeit with some bad press, launched its AI products in the past year. But where has Apple, the third most valuable tech company in the world, been in this race?

Developer conference soon

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One of the most anticipated events in the tech world, Apple's annual World Wide Developers Conference on Monday is expected to mark the company's move into generative AI, a technological frontier considered as revolutionary as the invention of the iPhone. The event, which typically previews the next version of Apple's software, is likely to showcase how the company will align AI in the iPhone and other Apple hardware.

While Apple, true to form, did not divulge any details about the event, chief executive Tim Cook has dropped hints on multiple occasions that the tech giant will soon enter Gen AI.

The pressure on the event is unprecedented as Apple's rivals are already racing ahead in the field, with experts worrying that the company may have waited a little too long.

What's expected?

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One of the main announcements will almost certainly be an update to Apple's iPhone operating system that is expected to see AI given a central role.

Since Apple makes most of its money from selling iPhones and other hardware, AI integrations will likely focus on its devices and services working more seamlessly together, experts said.

Industry watchers predict a ‘flagship’ OpenAI partnership involving an exclusive chatbot, which could be part of an upgrade to the much-derided virtual assistant Siri.

Big Tech, big money

Generative AI brought in big revenue for Apple's rivals. The AI boom is the main reason that chipmaker Nvidia, whose chips enable the technology, has seen its market value rocket from about $300 billion at the end of 2022 to about $3 trillion now. It also briefly surpassed Apple last week as the second most valuable company in the US. Microsoft earlier this year also eclipsed the iPhone maker on the strength of its so-far successful push into AI.

Cook said in a recent interview that the company has spent $100 billion over the past five years on research and development. Its rivals have spent comparable or higher amounts.

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