Apple To Disclose AI Plans This Year, Says Tim Cook

Apple’s senior management continues to evade attempts to get it disclose its plans on generative artificial intelligence – at least for now.

Reuters reported that CEO Tim Cook during the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, said that Apple plans to disclose more about its plans to put generative artificial intelligence to use, later this year.

It comes after Apple this week reportedly abandoned its ambitious electric car plan – otherwise known as Project Titan.

Apple Store in Mumbai. Image credit: Apple

Coming soon?

Apple had been working on its electric car venture ever since 2014, and had spent billions of dollars on the project.

It was reported that the nearly 2,000 Apple employees working on the project, would be moved to Apple’s AI division, as the iPhone maker seeks to ramp up its generative AI efforts and capabilities.

Now on Wednesday Cook was quoted by Reuters as saying that Apple sees “incredible breakthrough potential for generative AI, which is why we’re currently investing significantly in this area. We believe that will unlock transformative opportunities for users when it comes to productivity, problem solving and more.”

Apple is playing catch up here compared to its rivals such as Microsoft and Google, who have already incorporated AI capabilities into their respective product portfolios.

On Wednesday, Cook reportedly stated that AI is already at work behind the scenes in Apple’s products, but said there would be more news on explicit AI features later this year.

Bloomberg has previously reported Apple plans to use AI to improve the ability to search through data stored on Apple devices.

Shareholder vote

“Every Mac that is powered by Apple silicon is an extraordinarily capable AI machine. In fact, there’s no better computer for AI on the market today,” Cook was quoted as saying.

Apple shareholders on Wednesday rejected a measure asking the company to disclose more information about how it uses artificial intelligence in its business and its ethical guidelines for the technology.

The proposal, which did not pass but won 37.5 percent of votes cast, was put forth by the pension trust of the AFL-CIO, the largest American labour union federation, which has also proposed AI measures at other technology companies.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is one of many public figures who have repeatedly warned about the dangers and risks of the technology.

AI hints

Apple has been making the right noises about AI for the past year, without revealing what it is actually planning.

The first AI rumour at Apple surfaced in July 2023, when it was reported the firm was developing generative AI technology along the same lines of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Then in October 2023 Tim Cook said that Apple was hiring AI staff in the UK, as he touted the iPhone maker’s new Battersea headquarters and Cambridge research base.

Apple’s UK headquarters in Battersea Power Station. Image credit: Apple

“We’re hiring in that area, yes, and so I do expect it (investment) to increase,” Cook told the PA news agency on a visit to London’s Battersea at the time. He said at the time that AI is “literally everywhere on our products”, citing features such as Fall Detection and Crash Detection on the Apple Watch.

Then in early February 2024, Tim Cook teased an Apple ‘AI Announcement’ later this year during a Q1 earnings call with analysts.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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