Published on November 3, 2023, 12:59 pm

TL;DR During Apple's Q4 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook addressed the perception that Apple is lagging behind in AI. He highlighted AI-powered features like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail in iOS 17, emphasizing that Apple focuses on consumer benefits rather than using the term "AI". Cook confirmed Apple's development of generative AI technologies but did not provide specific details. Reports indicate that Apple aims to automate tasks through Siri and improve its AI capabilities. Despite some catching up to do, Cook made it clear that AI is integral to Apple's current and future innovations.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently addressed the notion that Apple is behind in AI during the company’s Q4 earnings call with investors. Cook highlighted recent technology developments that Apple has made possible with AI, such as new iOS 17 features like Personal Voice and Live Voicemail.

Cook emphasized that while these features may not be labeled as “AI” by consumers, they are powered by AI and machine learning technologies. He explained that Apple focuses on labeling features based on their consumer benefits rather than using the specific term “AI.”

One example of an AI-powered feature is Personal Voice, which is designed to create an automated voice that sounds like the user. This feature is intended for individuals who are losing their speaking ability due to conditions like ALS. Users spend 15 minutes reading text prompts into their device’s microphone, and then the audio is processed locally on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac using machine learning to create a personalized voice.

Another feature mentioned by Cook is Live Voicemail, which displays live transcriptions of voicemails in real-time as they are being recorded. These examples highlight how AI technology plays a fundamental role in enhancing user experiences.

Cook also confirmed that Apple is actively developing generative AI technologies; however, specific details were not shared due to Apple’s usual practice of withholding such information. He assured investors that Apple is investing significantly in AI development and will responsibly introduce product advancements utilizing these technologies over time.

While Apple has been expanding its budget for building AI capabilities and employing multiple teams working on large language models (LLMs), the company still appears to be catching up with other companies in terms of consumer-facing AI technologies. Recent launches of tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT have gained attention, along with offerings from Anthropic and Google.

Reports suggest that Apple aims to allow users to automate tasks through Siri without manual programming. Additionally, there are expectations for Siri to gain new AI skills such as automatically sending recently taken photos to contacts. The next version of iOS is also expected to bring more AI capabilities, including improvements to Siri and the Messages app, similar to Google’s autocomplete for Gmail. Apple development tools like Xcode may also incorporate generative AI.

Overall, Cook’s remarks emphasize that AI is integral to Apple’s current and future innovations. As the company continues investing in AI technologies, users can expect advancements that enhance their overall experience with Apple products.


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