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Can Apple Be the Next Big AI Stock?

Published 09/07/2023, 04:03 PM
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Apple is allocating millions of dollars to the development of AI models as the tech giant seeks to compete with Microsoft's OpenAI.

Apple is making significant investments in artificial intelligence (AI), allocating millions of dollars daily to developing AI models across multiple teams. The tech giant expects these tools to challenge other prominent AI models, including those offered by OpenAI and Google

Apple’s Controversial AI Unit

According to a recent report from The Information, Apple’s conversational AI unit, known as “Foundational Models,” has around sixteen members, including former Google engineers. Led by John Giannandrea, Apple’s head of AI, the team aims to enhance Siri and explore the potential of AI language models.

In addition to the Foundational Models team, Apple has other groups dedicated to AI research. One such team, the Visual Intelligence unit, focuses on developing an image generation model. Another group works on “multimodal AI,” which can recognize and generate images, videos, and text.

These AI models have various applications in mind. For instance, Apple is reportedly developing a chatbot to interact with customers using AppleCare. Another project aims to enable Siri to automate complex tasks more efficiently.

Apple’s most advanced language model, known internally as Ajax GPT, has been trained on an impressive “more than 200 billion parameters.” Those involved in its creation state that it surpasses OpenAI’s GPT-3.5, which served as the foundation for last year’s initial version of ChatGPT.

Apple Emphasizes Being the Best

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that timing is crucial when introducing groundbreaking products. During a public appearance, Cook highlighted Microsoft’s early presence in the tablet market, illustrating that being first doesn’t guarantee success. 

Instead, Cook suggested that entrepreneurs focus on one of three goals: being the best, being the first, or making the most of a particular product.

Apple’s approach aligns with Cook’s philosophy, as the company aims to deliver exceptional products rather than striving to be the first in every category. 

“You should never, ever base success or failure on hitting all three of those, in my view. So as an entrepreneur, I would encourage you to pick one. And then go for it. Whatever it is.”

“It doesn’t bother us that we are second, third, fourth, or fifth if we still have the best. We don’t feel embarrassed because it took us longer to get it right,” he added. “For Apple, being the best is the most important and trumps the other two by far.”

Apple Shares Drop Amid China Apple Ban Rumors

On Wednesday, Apple shares took a hit after reports suggested that China has banned its government officials from using iPhones for work purposes. The move is part of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to reduce reliance on foreign technology and bolster cybersecurity.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the ban, citing sources familiar with the matter. The report said Chinese President Xi Jinping aims to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign tech amid escalating geopolitical tensions with the United States.

China is a crucial market for Apple, with its devices enjoying widespread popularity among private consumers and government officials. Not only is China a key consumer market, but it also serves as a significant manufacturing hub for the tech giant.

Apple relies on a vast network of contract manufacturers and suppliers, employing millions in China to produce iPhones and other flagship products. The company generates nearly one-fifth of its revenue from China, with sales totaling $15.76 billion for the quarter ending July 1, representing an 8% increase from the previous year, according to recent filings. 

The news of the China ban has notably impacted Apple’s stock price, which dropped more than 4% Wednesday. The tech giant’s stock is down more than 2.6% in pre-market trading.

 

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