Apple is investing millions of dollars per day into artificial intelligence, according to a new report from The Information. The company is reportedly working on multiple AI models across several teams.
Apple’s unit that works on conversational AI is called “Foundational Models,” per The Information’s reporting. It has “around 16” members, including several former Google engineers. It’s helmed by John Giannandrea, Apple’s head of AI, who was hired in 2018 to help improve Siri. (Giannandrea has reportedly “expressed skepticism to colleagues about the potential usefulness of chatbots powered by AI language models.”)
Additional teams at Apple are also working on artificial intelligence, per The Information. A Visual Intelligence unit is developing an image generation model, and another group is researching “multimodal AI, which can recognize and produce images or video as well as text.”
These models could serve a variety of purposes. A chatbot is in the works that would “interact with customers who use AppleCare”; another would make it easier to automate multistep tasks with Siri.
Those involved in its development tell The Information that Apple’s most advanced LLM, known internally as Ajax GPT, has been trained on “more than 200 billion parameters” and is more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, the foundation of the initial version of ChatGPT that rolled out last year. This model was initially created for internal use, according to previous reporting from Bloomberg and remains fairly locked down within the company.