During recent earnings calls from major tech companies like Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft, generative AI was highlighted as a crucial aspect for the future. However, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, did not mention artificial intelligence in his prepared opening remarks during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on May 4th. Despite this, Apple still had a strong quarter, with revenue exceeding analysts’ expectations at $94.8 billion.
Cook on AI and Apple’s Future Plans
During the question-and-answer session with analysts, Cook was asked by Credit Suisse analyst Shannon Cross for his views on generative AI and how it would be incorporated into Apple’s products. Cook did not provide many details, as Apple prefers to keep its future endeavors under wraps. “As you know, we don’t comment on product roadmaps,” Cook stated. However, Cook did provide insight into how Apple views AI and how it will be integrated into the company’s products and services.
Cook mentioned that Apple is considering AI very deliberately and with care. He stated that there are several issues that must be addressed, such as bias in AI’s content generation and analysis, explainability, safety, and risks to society. These issues are being discussed in the industry at large, and the Biden administration has recently announced initiatives to address them.
Apple’s Current AI Integration
Apple is already familiar with AI technology, with Siri being a prime example. Siri uses natural language processing across Apple products to help users execute tasks. Deep Fusion is another AI capability that enhances image quality in Apple’s iOS software. In 2021, Apple employed Samy Bengio, a former leader of Google’s AI efforts, to help develop its AI technology.
Cook also stated that AI is currently integrated into features on Apple Watches and iPhones, including fall detection, crash detection, and electrocardiogram (ECG) functionality.
In conclusion, while Cook did not provide many details on Apple’s future AI endeavors, he did offer insight into how the company views AI and how it is already integrated into its products and services. Apple’s approach to AI is cautious and deliberate, with a focus on addressing the issues that the industry is currently facing.