Apple Is the One Big Tech Company Without a Clear ChatGPT Strategy
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The global excitement around ChatGPT, and the haste to copy it, resembles the introduction of an Apple product. Everyone is stoked to try it, and other tech companies are working late nights to reverse engineer it. This time, Apple is nowhere to be found. Has the speed of it all caught the world’s most influential tech company by surprise? From a report:
Microsoft has poured $10 billion into OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, and reconfigured how it builds server farms to accommodate more of Nvidia’s class-leading processors for training artificial intelligence. Alphabet’s Google has made responding to ChatGPT a top priority. Amazon has also jumped into the fray with its cloud division. That’s four of the world’s top seven most valuable companies, and yet, the most valuable of them all seems to have no ready answer for what’s coming. Bloomberg reported on an internal AI summit Apple held in February, when machine learning and other deployments of the tech across Apple products were discussed, but there was no hint of anything in the genre of generative AI.
AI in Apple products today is like irrigation for its walled garden, essential and helpful for an increasing number of functions, but ultimately it’s the hardware fruit that Apple sells. Generative AI could come in like a tidal wave. Apple, by all appearances, squandered the lead it established since becoming the first big tech company to make an AI-powered voice assistant. Siri was clearly flawed from the start, but it looks ancient by the standards of ChatGPT. To compete in this new AI race, companies need massive, bespoke computational clusters that cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Cloud services are not Apple’s strongest suit right now, as its chief for that division is leaving, and iCloud has been the subject of lament in this very newsletter. The company is investing significant resources in the augmented-reality headset we expect to debut in June and the long-mooted, capital-intensive automotive initiative.