Apple has acquired a greater number of AI companies than any of its rivals
The prevailing opinion suggests that Apple has fallen behind in the realm of AI. While Microsoft has heavily invested in partnering with Chat GPT, Nvidia has rebranded itself as the premier AI facilitator, and Google aims to minimize human involvement, Apple's stance on AI has been notably quiet.
At first glance, it may seem that Apple's only venture into artificial intelligence came with the introduction of Siri, their still-active digital assistant that, despite debuting alongside the iPhone 4S in 2011, still encounters occasional glitches or misunderstandings.
But fear not, observers of Apple. According to Stocklytics' research, the company has been actively acquiring AI startups. In fact, it snapped up 32 such companies in 2023, surpassing competitors like Google (21), Meta (18), Microsoft (17), and Amazon (10).
Among the companies already under Apple's wing are Voysis, specializing in natural language digital assistants for voice-assisted shopping; WaveOne, a video compression firm; Emotient, which analyzes facial expressions to discern emotions; Laserlike, offering news tracking services; Drive.ai, focusing on self-driving car technology; AI.Music, which creates AI-generated music; and most recently, Brighter AI, providing video data anonymization services.
Instead of simply purchasing ready-made solutions, Apple has acquired these startups in their early stages, presumably to integrate their technologies into a broader, cross-platform strategy spanning desktops, mobile devices, watches, tablets, and more within the iOS ecosystem.
Rumors persist that the enhanced machine learning and AI capabilities in the iPhone 15 and recent iPads will play a central role in the features of the iPhone 16. With iOS 18, it's speculated that 2024's hardware will offer on-device, voice-activated features that outperform Siri, without relying on network connections or collecting private data.
An example of what's to come is Apple's MLLM-Guided Image Editing AI, a system that edits images based on voice commands. This advancement promises instant results without the need for manual adjustments, potentially addressing Siri's current shortcomings and posing a challenge to competitors, especially with its emphasis on on-device processing and privacy protection.
Source: adapted from an article by Daniel Griffiths, Editor for PocketGamer.biz