Report: Apple developing AI chatbot, 'Atlas,' for internal use – Silicon … – The Business Journals

Apple Inc. has thrown its hat into the ever-expanding generative artificial intelligence ring with a chatbot its own engineers knowingly refer to as “Apple GPT.”
According to Bloomberg, which first broke the news Wednesday, the Cupertino tech titan has been quietly working on a foundational large language model platform referred to as “Ajax”.
Apple’s entry into this new AI race comes on the heels of the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google LLC.’s Bard and Microsoft Corps.’s Bing AI. While arguably playing catch-up, Bloomberg reports that Apple’s chatbot is, at present, being developed for internal use only.
The Ajax system was built last year to unify Apple’s machine learning development, according to Bloomberg. It was built on top of Google Jax, the search giant’s machine learning framework. It reportedly runs on Google Cloud and Inc.’s AWS.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has already “deployed AI-related improvements to search, Siri and maps based on that system. And Ajax is now being used to create large language models and serve as the foundation for the internal ChatGPT-style tool.”
The chatbot at present is for internal Apple use only and only with permission. The project was halted briefly last year over security concerns and is not allowed to be used to create and consumer-facing products.
Apple — the world’s most valuable company with a market capitalization of $3.07 trillion — saw a slight bump in its share price to $198.23 following Bloomberg’s report Wednesday. In early trading Thursday, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was trading slightly higher.
While Apple appears late to the generative artificial intelligence game, it’s taken a far more circumspect approach to this iteration of AI, a cultural-defining tech innovation that has led to the shutdown of most major television and movie production due to the ongoing Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Writers Guild of America strikes.
The strikes, which began with writers and expanded to actors, is largely over the issue of payment and residuals in the streaming era. But another sticking point is the use of AI in production.
Writers have been out on strike since May out of fear studios will use AI to create and write new content, thereby destroying a whole industry. The strike has shutdown most production of Apple TV’s films and series.
Actors, who started their strike earlier this month, want protections against their likenesses being used to train artificial intelligence, and that they won’t be replaced by AI.
Despite ChatGPT’s initial success, the chatbot from San Francisco-based OpenAI has seen usage drop by 9.7% since its launch late last year, with website visits and time-on-site also decreasing.
Speaking with Reuters, Similarweb’s senior insights manager David Carr believes the traffic drop was due to the novelty wearing off, though RBC Capital Markets analyst Rishi Jaluria believes the data means there is more demand for a generative AI with access to real-time information, an issue OpenAI solved by partnering with Bing AI to get access to real-time data. Microsoft is an investor in OpenAI.
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