Apple Scrambles to Play Catchup as AI Continues to Rise

( – For decades, Apple has been one of the main technology trend-setters. It pioneered user-friendly computers. It made digital music downloads mainstream. Its iPhone changed the way we interact with the world. But now, suddenly, the company is struggling to catch up with its rivals. The new technological revolution is AI — artificial intelligence — and Apple, for once, has been caught unaware.

Tech companies have been working on AI for years, but most of the industry was caught by surprise when OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022. The free app can hold conversations and write pieces on almost any topic. The same technology is now rapidly expanding into graphic arts and other fields. It’s already being used in internet search engines. Apple, which says it’s been working on AI for years, has fallen dramatically behind as rivals including Microsoft and Google quickly integrate the new technology into their websites.

Now Apple is trying to close the gap. According to Bloomberg, senior vice presidents John Giannandrea and Craig Federighi are leading a drive to add generative AI to all the company’s products, and they’ve allocated $1 billion to fund the project — and that figure might quickly rise to $5 billion. That doesn’t answer the question of why Apple was apparently blindsided by the rise of ChatGPT, though.

CEO Tim Cook insists Apple has been working on the technology, but insiders say the company was caught completely by surprise when the generative AI system went live. Microsoft quickly added ChatGPT to its Bing search engine, and Google followed with its own version of the tool. That leaves Apple as the only big tech company that hasn’t integrated generative AI into its flagship products — and as people get used to using it, they’re likely to choose systems that make it easily accessible. If Apple can’t catch up quickly, its reputation for cutting-edge technology will start following its stock values down.

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