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Apple’s recent hiring ads reveal its plan to boost its AI initiatives further. And based on the job descriptions posted by the company (via Financial Times), it seems it plans to directly inject generative AI into its device offerings, including iPhones and iPads.
Apple’s exploration of AI is no longer a secret, as past reports shared that the Cupertino company has been investing in the technology. However, with the giant not being so open about the topic and its details, many fear the company is losing the AI race. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently clarified this, saying the giant has been investing in generative AI “for years.” The executive also stressed that AI is already in its current offerings and that the company will “continue investing and innovating and responsibly advancing our products with these technologies to help enrich people’s lives.”
It is a clear indication of the iPhone maker’s plan to further envelope its device offerings with the said technology. Recently, the list of its job offerings for AI-related positions also further clarifies what Apple is planning.
According to some of the descriptions provided by the company in the job postings available, it is looking for professionals specializing in large language models. The hiring concerns the company’s offices in California, Seattle, Beijing, and Paris, with the latter looking for researchers and engineers who can handle LLM-related research. Apple is also hiring professionals who compress current LLMs, allowing them to work on its devices. One says Apple is hoping to deliver “state of the art foundation models to the phone in your pocket, enabling the next generation of ML-based experiences in a privacy-preserving way.” Another directly states that the iPhone maker is looking for a software engineer who can “implement features that compress and accelerate LLMs in our on-device inference engine,” allowing LLMs to work on handhelds.
The descriptions complement Apple’s current security and privacy visions despite the presence of AI in its systems and devices. For instance, Apple is introducing Personal Voice in iOS 17, allowing users to produce a synthetic voice. The idea behind the feature is to give people at risk of losing their voices a tool they can use to immortalize them. It will only require a total of 15-minute voice input from users by reading a series of prompts on iPhones or iPads. Doing so will record the users’ voice, which will then be processed to generate the synthetic voice copy that can be used with Apple’s Live Speech. Nonetheless, Apple promises that Personal Voice would only use on-device machine learning, assuring the voice data of users won’t be used or accessed by others. It seems this is the same idea Apple wants to implement in its future generative AI creations.
If true, this will be a huge forward step for Apple in the AI battle. Microsoft and Google are already aggressively offering their creations to their customers, but bringing the tech directly to smartphones will slingshot Apple to the front of the AI race. However, while it is now clear that Apple plans to indeed bring generative AI to iPhones and iPads (and possibly its wearables), the timeframe on when we will experience the creations remains a mystery.