SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Apple expected to enter AI race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders

Jun 10, 2024, 7:52 AM

FILE: The Apple Store at Towson Town Center Mall on May 10, 2024 in Towson, Maryland. (Photo by And...

FILE: The Apple Store at Towson Town Center Mall on May 10, 2024 in Towson, Maryland. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference on Monday is expected to herald the company’s move into generative artificial intelligence, marking its late arrival to a technological frontier that’s expected to be as revolutionary as the invention of the iPhone.

The widely anticipated display of AI to be embedded in the iPhone and other Apple products will be the marquee moment at an event that traditionally previews the next version of software that powers the company’s hardware lineup.

And Apple’s next generation of software is expected to be packed with an array of AI features likely to make its often-bumbling virtual assistant Siri smarter, and make photos, music, texting — and possibly even creating emojis on the fly — a more productive and entertaining experience.

True to its secretive nature, Apple hasn’t provided any advance details about Monday’s event being held at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters.

But CEO Tim Cook recently dropped strong hints that Apple is poised to reveal its grand plans to enter the AI race that has been fueling an industry boom during the past 18 months.

AI mania is the main reason that Nvidia, the dominant maker of the chips underlying the technology, has seen its market value rocket from about $300 billion at the end of 2022 to about $3 trillion. The meteoric ride allowed Nvidia to briefly surpass Apple last week as the second most valuable company in the U.S. Microsoft earlier this year also eclipsed the iPhone maker on the strength of its so-far successful push into AI.

But analysts have been have been getting increasingly worried that Apple may be falling too far behind in the rapidly changing AI space, a concern that has been compounded by an uncharacteristically extended slump in the company’s sales. Both Google and Samsung already have released smartphone models touting AI features as their main attractions.

That’s why analysts such as Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities view Monday’s conference as a potential springboard that catapults Apple into another robust phase of growth. Ives believes infusing more AI into the iPhone, iPad and Mac computer will translate into an additional $450 billon to $600 billion in market value for Apple.

Monday’s conference “represents the most important event for Apple in over a decade as the pressure to bring a generative AI stack of technology for developers and consumers is front and center,” Ives wrote in a research note.

Apple definitely could use the boost that AI may be able to provide, particularly for its 13-year-old assistant Siri, which Forrester Research Dipanjan Chatterjee now calls an “oddly unhelpful helper.”

Meanwhile, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is getting increasingly conversational — so much so that it recently sparked accusations of intentionally copying a piece of AI software voiced by Scarlett Johansson — and Google last month previewed an AI “agent” dubbed Astra that can seemingly see and remember things.

Besides using AI to spruce up Siri, Apple may also team up with OpenAI to bring some elements of ChatGPT to the iPhone, according to a wide range of unconfirmed reports leading up to Monday’s conference.

This will be the second straight year that Apple has created a stir at its developers conference by using it to usher in its entrance into a trendy form of technology that other companies already had been making inroads.

Last year, Apple provided an early look at its mixed-reality headset, the Vision Pro, which wasn’t released until early this year carrying a $3,500 price tag that has been a major impediment to gaining much traction. Nevertheless, Apple’s push into mixed reality, tweaked with a twist that it bills as “spatial computing,” has raised hopes that what is currently a niche technology will turn into a huge market.

Part of the optimism stems from Apple’s history of releasing technology later than others and then using sleek designs and services combined with slick marketing campaigns to overcome its tardy start to unleash new trends.

“Apple’s early reticence toward AI was entirely on brand,” Forrester’s Chatterjee wrote in a preview of the developers conference. “The company has always been famously obsessed with what its offerings did for its customers rather than how it did it.”

Bringing more AI into the iPhone, in particular, will likely raise privacy issues — a topic where Apple has gone to great lengths to assure its loyal customer base that it can be trusted not to peer too deeply into their personal lives.

One way Apple could reassure consumers that the iPhone won’t be used to spy on them is to leverage its own chip technology so most AI-powered features are handled on the device itself instead of remote data centers, often called “the cloud.” Going that route also would help protect Apple’s profit margins because AI technology through the cloud is far more expensive than when it is run solely on a device.

KSL 5 TV Live

Science & Technology

File - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twi...

Associated Press

What happened to the likes? X is now hiding which posts you like from other users

Social media platform X is now hiding your likes.

22 hours ago

(left) The iconic photo from the Moon looking at Earth during the Apollo 8 voyage, taken by Astrona...

Associated Press

Former astronaut William Anders, who took iconic Earthrise photo, has died in Washington plane crash

The former Apollo 8 astronaut who took the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet in 1968, was killed Friday in a plane crash.

6 days ago

FILE - A hiker passes a sign warning of extreme heat at the start of the Golden Canyon trail, in De...

Emma Benson

Extreme heat is leading cause of weather-related deaths; how to protect yourself

Extreme heat is the number one cause of weather-related deaths, which is why it's crucial to stay diligent in high temperatures to protect yourself and your loved ones.

8 days ago

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on June 01, 2024 in Newark,...

Jill Colvin, Will Weissert, and Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

Trump joins TikTok and calls it ‘an honor.’ As president he once tried to ban the video-sharing app

Donald Trump has joined TikTok, the video-sharing app he once tried to ban as president. He posted his first video from a UFC fight in New Jersey on Saturday night.

10 days ago

FILE - The TikTok app logo appears in Tokyo, on Sept. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)...

Mary Culbertson

Utah files new lawsuit against TikTok, alleging it exploits teens on ‘virtual strip clubs’

The state of Utah filed its second lawsuit against TikTok, this time alleging that the platform sexually exploits teens and profits off what it says are "virtual strip clubs."

10 days ago

FILE - A jet takes flight from Sky Harbor International Airport as the sun sets over Phoenix, July ...

Seth Borenstein, Mary Katherine Wildeman and Anita Snow, Associated Press

AP analysis finds 2023 set record for US heat deaths, killing in areas that used to handle the heat

An Associated Press analysis of federal data shows that about 2,300 people in the United States died in the summer of 2023 with their death certificates mentioning the effects of excessive heat.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Apple expected to enter AI race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders