Apple’s Tim Cook has revealed that the company soon plans to hire a number of staff into AI roles in the United Kingdom, at a time when other large tech companies continue to implement far-reaching cost-cutting measures such as layoffs.
The news comes as Amazon invests $4 billion into AI startup Anthropic and Meta releases its first chatbot assistant trained on public Facebook and Instagram data.
Apple To Go on Hiring Spree
Apple's chief executive Tim Cook revealed this week that the company intends to hire staff in the United Kingdom to work on artificial intelligence projects, on top of the existing AI office in Cambridgeshire where hundreds of staff work on machine learning projects.
“We’re hiring in that area, yes, and so I do expect it [investment] to increase,” Cook told the PA news agency on a trip to Britain this week, during which he visited a school that had partnered with Apple to provide,
“AI is all over our products today” he continued, “it’s behind the Fall Detection on the (Apple) Watch, it’s behind Crash Detection, it’s behind Afib (atrial fibrillation) detection, it’s behind the ECG, it’s predictive typing on iPhone… it’s literally everywhere on our products and of course, we’re also researching generative AI as well, so yes we have a lot going on.”
The Independent reports that Cook dubbed the UK’s tech scene “vibrant”, referencing the fact that the country is home to the third-largest Apple employee population.
Layoffs Continue in the Tech Sector
Unfortunately, not many companies in the tech sector are thinking about recruiting new employees – quite the opposite. Just yesterday, Fortnite creators Epic Games announced that it's making 16% of their workforce redundant.
Elsewhere, most of the companies usually classed under the “big tech” umbrella – including Meta and Amazon – have both laid off thousands of workers in the past 12 months. Google, on the other hand, axed a number of employees in its recruiting team just this week.
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Twitter has gotten rid of around three-quarters of its staff team since Musk’s acquisition of the platform back in November 2022, while T-Mobile, Salesforce, Uber, Reddit, and Spotify have all downsized their payroll since the turn of the year.
The AI Arms Race Hots Up Again
A lot happened this week in the world of AI this week aside from Apple announcing that it plans to hire even more employees to work on artificial intelligence projects.
Perhaps the biggest news to hit the headlines was Meta’s launch of its very own chatbot in the US, which will be available through WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Amazon, on the other hand, invested an eye-watering $4 billion into Anthropic, the AI startup behind Claude 2, a highly capable ChatGPT Competitor released in July of this year.
Not content with being left out, Microsoft-backed OpenAI also had some big news – that ChatGPT can now finally access the internet and use this to inform its responses.
With Google also releasing a raft of extensions for its chatbot, Bard recently, it's anyone's guess who's going to come out on top – and what's on the horizon.