Apple is taking artificial intelligence seriously

(CNN) — It appears that Apple is finally taking the wraps off some of its efforts in artificial intelligence.

Apple researchers say they have developed a family of multimodal models, which refers to an AI system that can interpret and produce different types of data at the same time, such as text and images, called MM1 . Its new methods boast “improved capabilities” and can offer advanced reasoning and learning in context to respond to text and images, the report said.

The announcement shows how such a system could benefit future Apple products, including the iPhone, Mac and its Siri voice assistant.

This comes as Apple is expected to unveil several new AI features at its developer conference in June.

However, at the same time, Apple has reportedly reached a settlement with Google that indicates its own AI efforts may not be quite where they want them yet. According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is interested in licensing and building Google’s Gemini AI engine for upcoming iPhones and features in its iOS 18, including chatbots and other AI tools.

As more tech companies invest billions of dollars into developing and launching artificial intelligence, Apple has been largely left out of the conversation, while many other tech companies are already making big strides in the area. The partnership with Google will put Apple in the growing AI arms race.

The report also says that Apple had previous talks with OpenAI, the company behind the viral chatbot ChatGPT.

Apple, Google and OpenAI did not respond to requests for comment.

In February, CEO Tim Cook indicated during a meeting with investors that he “sees incredible advancement potential for generative AI, which is why we are making significant investments in this area right now.” But the company still hasn’t shared much about its vision for AI.

Behind the scenes, Apple is reportedly working on its own on-device generative AI capabilities and acquiring companies like Canadian startup DarwinAI. It also has a machine learning research division dedicated to advancing AI.

Angelo Zino, vice president and senior equity analyst at CFRA Research, said in a note to investors on Monday that the latest news “potentially confirms that Apple’s internal efforts lag far behind OpenAI and Gemini.”

But he said a potential deal “demonstrates that the company is serious about adding significant AI capabilities to iOS 18 when its new iPhones launch this autumn.”

Google may be a perfect fit for new partnerships in AI given its existing search partnerships; The company has invested heavily to ensure that Google remains the default search engine choice in Apple’s Safari browser. However, that search agreement between the two tech giants is being reviewed by antitrust authorities.

The slogan “Welcome to the Gemini era” on the Google DeepMind website is presented on a mobile phone for an illustrative photo. (Credit: Beata Zorzel/Nurfoto/Getty Images)

In another note to investors on Monday, analysts at Wedbush Securities said they see the potential partnership as a win-win for both companies.

“Entering the Apple ecosystem and gaining access to Cupertino’s gold-founded install base is a big win for Google, which obviously has a big licensing fee attached to it,” the analysts said.

This will provide the foundation and technology for Apple to focus even more on the AI-powered iOS features it is currently developing.

This partnership could bring Gemini access to approximately 2 billion Apple devices.

Wedbush also said the deal would be a big “validation moment” for Google’s generic AI position, noting that Microsoft and OpenAI have gained early market share by commercializing some of its products.

(TagstoTranslate)Apple(T)AI(T)Artificial Intelligence

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