Apple is about to join the generative AI game

Conrad Gray
3 min readFeb 24, 2024
Photo by Phúc Khang Mobile on Unsplash

Apple is famous for joining late to major tech trends. iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and recently released Apple Vision Pro were not the first products in their respective categories. The same is happening now with generative AI. Apple hasn’t shown any generative AI products yet but that could change soon, according to the recent leaks coming from Cupertino.

Almost every tech giant has joined the generative AI game. Microsoft is reinventing itself around chatbots and copilots. After some hiccups, Alphabet finally released Gemini, its competitor to OpenAI’s GPT-4. Meta embraced open-source with Llama 2 and is now training Llama 3. Amazon has Q, a generative AI-powered assistant, and offers a spectrum of generative AI services on AWS.

Apple might be quiet but it is not sitting still and doing nothing. Quite the opposite. In 2023, Apple quietly acquired 32 AI startups, the most of all tech giants. For comparison, in the same year, Google acquired 21 AI startups, Meta 18 and Microsoft 17. I wouldn’t be surprised if most if not all of those acquisitions were acqui-hires to get more AI talent in the company rather than to get specific AI products or technologies. Apple has also released an open-source machine learning framework called MLX that makes it easier to train AI models on Apple Silicon chips, a text-to-image editing AI model MGIE, and an AI animator called Keyframer.

According to a report by Mark Gurman, Apple is planning to announce a suite of new generative AI tools and features to its products at the WWDC conference around the first week of June. Some of them are going to be part of iOS 18 which, according to leaks, could be the biggest update in iOS’s history.

It is almost certain Apple GPT will be running locally on iPhones and other Apple devices. Apple prefers to run as many things as possible on the device in the name of protecting privacy. There is no information about how big the Apple GPT running on an iPhone will be. Early leaks mentioned that AppleGPT is a 200-billion parameter model but that’s way too big a model to fit inside an iPhone and sounds more like a model designed to be deployed on a server, not to run on a small device.

Recently, Apple engineers and researchers published a paper describing a new method of running