This week, reports have revealed that Apple is developing its own ChatGPT competitor – dubbed “Apple GPT” by the company's developers – backed by its own language model framework, Ajax.
The news comes just days after Meta announced it is developing its own version of ChatGPT, powered by Llama 2 – introduced recently in partnership with Microsoft.
Compared to its counterparts, Apple has been relatively quiet regarding artificial intelligence – but it would be foolish to think the tech giant would simply be sitting this one out.
Apple GPT: What We Know So Far
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurmann, engineers at Apple are working on a project to design an AI tool internally referred to as “Apple GPT”, powered by the company's own proprietary LLM framework, Ajax.
Ajax is based on Google’s machine learning framework “JAX”, which UK-based AI startup DeepMind has been using to “accelerate” their research since 2020. It is still considered a reasonably experimental framework, compared to some others, however.
Some Apple employees have access to the chatbot, but this requires special approval – and outputs aren’t used to iterate on features scheduled for consumer use.
However, it has reportedly already provided somewhat useful for prototyping products.
Whether “Ajax” was arrived at by simply mashing together Google's “JAX” and “A” of Apple is unclear, but it’s undoubtedly one of the more interesting names put forward by an AI language model framework.
In Greek mythology, Ajax – a feared warrior second only in strength to Achilles – famously went insane and attempted to murder his military comrades. Instead, however, After Athena intervenes and clouds his mind, he instead kills a flock of sheep.
Apple Officially Joins the AI Party
This isn’t the first we’ve heard about Apple’s potential AI ventures this year – it was revealed back in April that the company was working on an AI-powered health application with emotional analysis capabilities. And of course, Apple already deploys AI across its products in a number of different ways.
Siri, for instance, the company’s voice-controlled personal assistant built into all iPhones, is a form of artificial intelligence – although employees working on the project have been far from pleased by the way it has progressed.
Apple CEO Tim Cook – who previously said AI was going to be “huge” – has also highlighted a number of privacy concerns relating to AI that he argues must be ironed out in the immediate future.
Apple, compared to companies like Meta and Google, markets itself as a more privacy-minded company – changes to its iOS software that has impaired apps from tracking user behavior have irked competitors previously.
Can I Use Apple GPT Yet?
Not quite – the project is still under development. However, multiple sources have reported that Apple is going to make a major AI-related announcement at some point in 2024 – so it could very well be the general release of “Apple GPT” – or whatever it ends up being called.
As of now, Google’s Bard, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Anthropic’s recently released chatbot Claude 2 are among the most capable chatbots currently available. Chinese search engine Baidu has also released its own chatbot, called Ernie bot.
If you're using any of these tools at work, just be mindful of the sort of data you're inputting into them. Several companies have banned the likes of ChatGPT altogether due to privacy concerns, while there's very little information about the security measures deployed by them either.