Apple's Silent Approach to AI: A Contrast to Market's Heavyweights

JJohn July 28, 2023 8:27 PM

While Google, Microsoft, and Meta are frequently vocal about their developments in artificial intelligence (AI), Apple has taken a comparatively reserved stance. Contrary to its competitors who are casting AI as the future of computing, Apple positions AI as merely a background component to enhance user experience. This article explores Apple's distinct perspective on AI, contrasting it with its competitors' vigorous push for the technology.

Apple's understated AI strategy

Apple's approach to AI is quite different from that of its competitors. While companies like Google, Microsoft, and Meta are constantly generating excitement about the revolutionary potential of AI, Apple has been maintaining a more down-to-earth perspective. Instead of incessantly talking up AI, Apple executives often use the term 'machine learning'— a term more popular among academics and practitioners. Their focus is more on what the software can do for the user, rather than the technology enabling those functions.

AI: An underpinning, not the future for Apple

Unlike its competitors that are rallying everyone around AI, Apple sees AI as a core underlying component of its products. Apple's AI operates in the background, enhancing the user experience without making a big fuss about it. Apple's products, such as iPhones, which still generate the bulk of its revenue, use AI in a subtle manner, without the need to talk up a big AI game.

Several mega-cap tech companies have indicated during earnings calls that the deployment of AI products may take longer than previously anticipated. Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, tempered investor expectations for their AI product, Copilot, indicating that its growth would be gradual. Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, also stated that it's still 'early days' for their new AI-powered search. This slow rollout and tempered expectations underscore that the current hype around AI may not yield immediate returns for these companies.

Apple's focus on products over hype

Apple is certainly not sitting idle in the arena of AI. It's developing AI models internally, as seen in the new iPhone keyboard software that uses the same transformers architecture as GPT. However, Apple avoids creating a buzz about unreleased products to stoke investor anticipation. The company's earnings call next week is unlikely to contain much discussion on AI, as Apple remains focused on its products and features instead of hyping future possibilities.

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