Apple is quietly preparing products for the growing artificial intelligence (AI) industry, based on a custom-built framework for developing large language models.
The foundation, known as “Ajax,” has already been used to create a chatbot that some engineers are calling “AppleGPT,” sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Since the report dropped, Apple, which trades on Nasdaq under the AAPL ticker, has seen its shares rise 0.5% on the day. Meanwhile, Microsoft, which trades on the same exchange under the MSFT ticker – the main backer of rival firm OpenAI – slipped 1.33%.
Employees for Apple claim that their tool doesn’t include a novel technology: It works as a web application that effectively replicates OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard – chatbots that can devise almost any written material when prompted.
People familiar with the effort said that Apple first launched Ajax last year to unify internal efforts at developing machine learning tech. Under the framework, the company has already deployed improvements to Siri and Maps, and Ajax is being used to assist with product prototyping.
Unlike ChatGPT, Apple’s tool isn’t meant for public consumption, and the company has no plans to release it to consumers. However, Apple’s AI suite has reportedly been worked on for months by multiple project teams, with one of its focuses on addressing privacy concerns.
According to a poll from Pew Research in December 2022, a majority of Americans are concerned that AI can infringe on human privacy by consuming too much personal data. Like Apple, Samsung has also decided to build an internal chatbot and has banned employees from using ChatGPT.
Apple did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.
Apple has incorporated AI into a number of its other products to date, including its Siri voice assistant, and an incoming upgrade to autocorrect on its mobile devices. Nevertheless, it has remained stagnant regarding extra-sophisticated word processing technology until now, which is making waves as a tool for automatically generating blog posts, essays, writing code, and even producing videos.
Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that the company was looking closely at ChatGPT last month. However, he said the technology has a “number of issues that need to be sorted,” during a conference call in May.