Apple CEO Tim Cook addresses growth of AI and say it is coming to more products
Apple is planning to “weave” artificial intelligence into its products – but thinks there are still “issues that need to be sorted” with the technology, Tim Cook has said.
The chief executive said that the “potential is certainly very interesting” and that Apple had integrated artificial intelligence into some of its products and would do the same with those to come.
“We view AI as huge,” he said during Apple’s earning call on Thursday. Those results showed a surprise jump in iPhone sales and continued strong growth in Apple’s services business, which helped offset a fall in sales of Macs.
After those results were revealed, Mr Cook was asked what he thought about artificial intelligence and where the company was planning to use it. He said that the company would not reveal “product roadmaps” but that it was a key focus for Apple, and pointed to products such as its fall detection that are already built on such systems.
“I do think it’s very important to be deliberate and thoughtful in how you approach these things,” he said. “And there’s a number of issues that need to be sorted, as is being talked about in a number of different places. But the potential is certainly very interesting.
“We’ve obviously made enormous progress integrating AI and machine learning throughout our ecosystem and we weaved it into products and features for many years as you probably know. You can see that in things like fall detection and crash detection and ECG, these things are not only great features, they’re saving people’s lives out there.
“And so it’s absolutely remarkable. And so we view AI as huge and we’ll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis.”
Many of the world’s largest tech companies have publicly announced their work on AI, and have worked on systems including chatbots. Google, Microsoft, Facebook and more have all revealed that they are working on new artificially intelligent features – some of which have already rolled out, leading to widespread criticism that they are doing so too early.
Throughout that, Apple has stayed largely quiet about its plans for artificial intelligence. While the technology has been integrated into some of its products, it has given no real indication of how much it is embracing AI, and the degree to which it expects its business to change as a result of the developments.
Apple is also yet to release any products built on the kind of generative AI that powers text systems such as ChatGPT, or image creation tools such as Midjourney. Though Mr Cook was asked specifically about that technology, he did not address it in his question.
Mr Cook also did not mention Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. A run of recent reports have claimed that a relative lack of progress with Siri is evidence of Apple’s failure to make the most of artificial intelligence, and report in The Information last month suggested that Apple employers are frustrated with the “shortcomings” of Siri, which it hopes to address with new changes coming next year.