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With A Staff-Only AI summit, Apple Ducks The Spotlight

Based on its most recent summit, Apple appears content to remain out of the spotlight when it comes to the “AI race.”

Over the past month, companies like Microsoft, Google, Baidu, and others have rushed to make very visible announcements about AI. Earlier last month, Apple hosted its own AI event, but it was only for employees.

Notably, Apple’s low-key AI presentation was the first to be hosted at the Steve Jobs Theatre in person since the start of the pandemic. Apart from that, it wasn’t very noteworthy, which is in and of itself kind of noteworthy.

The majority of AI systems process data on the cloud. Google is shifting more and more to on-device, while Apple has made a lot of noise about its on-device artificial intelligence approach.

Apple positions itself as unique from competitors in part because of its privacy-first policy. The company uses its devices to process data that it collects little. Although Apple has found success with this strategy, as it consumes more data and processing power—which we may already be seeing—the business may start to struggle.

After Google and Alexa, Siri is generally regarded as the third most competent virtual assistant. As of right now, Apple has no response for the ChatGPT and Bard chatbots that Google and Microsoft, respectively, unveiled.

Web search has been one of the main applications of machine learning over the years. According to reports, Mountain View became alarmed by the threat that a ChatGPT-integrated Bing poses to Google, which resulted in the hurried (and “botched”) announcement of Bard.

According to reports, Apple has been developing a search engine of its own, but the company’s anti-data collecting attitude may be preventing it from releasing a product that can compete with Google and Bing.

This month, at its AI event, Apple seemed intent on motivating staff members and reassuring them that the company isn’t lagging. The head of Apple’s AI department told the gathering that Apple has expertise that is “truly at the forefront” and that “machine learning is moving faster than ever.”

From the sound of things, that corporation is not very confident.

“Although Apple may hold that opinion, I haven’t come across anything that is a game changer for consumers coming out of the summit,” Mark Gurman of Bloomberg stated in the most recent issue of his Power On newsletter.

“In case you were wondering, I don’t think Apple revealed a sneak peek at a ChatGPT/New Bing rival or anything similar.”

Since Apple has a reputation for not rushing its products to market, it is not shocking that no significant announcements have been made in advance of WWDC. Nonetheless, Gurman’s article and this staff-only gathering undoubtedly convey the idea that Apple is aware of its inferior AI positioning compared to its competitors.

When it comes to AI, Apple appears to be content to remain in the background for the time being. This year, its mixed-reality headgear will be the center of attention. If Apple can’t quiet the naysayers, concerns about whether it is a leader in AI will undoubtedly be raised in the upcoming years.