Google and Microsoft is jumping on Generative AI. Why is Apple so quiet?

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By Niels Vestergaard

Last week, Google was finally able to launch their Chat-GPT competitor, Google Bard – and despite a rough start earlier this year, it actually seems to have something that Chat-GPT doesn’t. Bard has the unique advantage of being connected to the internet. So unlike the audience favorite GPT, there is a greater ability to locate the right sources and write articles based on the latest news. Additionally, you can also use images as input, whereas Chat-GPT still only understands traditional text.

It will be exciting to see if Google can leverage its experience in machine learning and perhaps come up with a competitive product – and a not insignificant advantage with the 3 billion Android users already using Google’s mobile operating system. Oh, and Bard is also available on your smartphone, unlike Chat-GPT. The race for the AI throne has long begun, but it’s not a 100-meter sprint – and one marathon runner is particularly missing in this race.

Where is Apple’s AI?

Apple, which is also nearing a paying subscriber base of almost 1 billion users, has been surprisingly quiet in the past few months. However, Apple generally has a tendency to patiently wait while Google and Microsoft iron out the kinks in new technologies before introducing a competitor. They did it with Face ID, their M1 and M2 chips, AirPods, and Apple Watch. Apple has always played “the long game,” and it doesn’t seem like they plan to change that strategy anytime soon.

It is indeed unlikely that Apple will launch an advanced language model like Chat-GPT or Google Bard. It is much more probable that they will leverage the new AI technologies to enhance the Siri experience. Apple has been investing in Siri’s development and improvement over the years, and they are likely to continue using AI advancements to make Siri more intelligent, intuitive, and capable in understanding and responding to user queries and commands. Siri’s integration across Apple devices and services will remain a focal point for Apple’s AI efforts.

Apples infrastructure will help them with mastering AI

As widely known, Apple has access to a vast amount of data on its customers. They collect data across iPhone, Watch, Mac, and iPad devices, allowing them to understand users’ preferences, trends, and challenges with precision. This wealth of data can be instrumental if Apple decides to create an AI assistant tailored specifically to each individual Apple user.

By leveraging the insights gained from their extensive data collection, Apple could develop an AI assistant capable of providing personalized recommendations, suggestions, and solutions based on the user’s unique needs and preferences. This approach would align with Apple’s focus on privacy and user-centric experiences, as they could utilize the data internally without compromising user privacy.

At the same time, Apple has solidified its position as a leader in silicon chips over the past years, achieving impressive results. The collaboration with Intel was terminated when the M1 chip arrived, delivering outstanding performance and incredible energy efficiency. Additionally, Apple’s A-chips, found in your iPhone, are significantly more powerful than almost all other smartphone chips on the market. This will also be a distinct advantage in harnessing the complexity that a potential AI could leverage. It will revolutionize the way you use Mac, iPhone, and Watch.

What your future with Apple could look like

Apple is well-known for its focus on user privacy, and this can be a significant advantage when consumers have to choose which AI assistant they prefer to entrust their data to. A study conducted by Microsoft shows that up to 41% of voice assistant users are not comfortable with how their data is stored and used. Many Apple users, as they already do to a large extent, will likely prefer to rely on Apple’s data handling practices rather than those of their competitors.

Furthermore, there will be significant changes in the field of healthcare. Apple already emphasizes health and fitness with the Apple Watch series, and with enhanced machine learning capabilities, your Apple Watch will be able to recommend the perfect diet, exercise routine, sleep schedule, and hydration levels in the future. These recommendations will be highly personalized, based on numerous data points that become increasingly robust day by day.

Additionally, the feedback element in Siri is likely to be significantly strengthened, allowing you to have a constructive dialogue about the presentation you just finished at work while driving home in your car. Siri will recommend the latest episode of your favorite podcast, and if you don’t have time, it can provide a summary of the key points in just 5 minutes. You can also have a brief overview of the day’s news from Børsen or ask Siri to plan your next trip to Italy, whether you want to go to Florence or Sardinia.

Can Chat-GPT do all these things? Yes. However, the platform is challenged by the fact that Google and Apple own the infrastructure on smartphones. AI assistants will become a central part of our daily lives. Once Apple cracks the code on a new voice assistant, the army of iPhone users won’t hesitate to switch from GPT to Siri AI. It is not unthinkable that these features will become an integrated part of Apple’s subscription service, so alongside an iCloud+ subscription, you can access Siri+ for a modest monthly fee.

Therefore, it would not surprise me if we hear from Tim Cook and the rest of the team in September when the new iPhone is unveiled. It would greatly surprise me if Siri hasn’t received a significant overhaul, and it would not surprise me at all if the model is offered as an optional subscription-based solution. Most of all, it would be astonishing if iPhone users worldwide did not embrace this development. Let’s not forget that soon, 1/8 of the world’s population will be paying Apple on a monthly basis.