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Apple Set to Unveil AI Initiatives Later This Year

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced at the annual shareholder meeting Wednesday (Feb. 28) that the company will soon provide more details about its strategy for using generative artificial intelligence (AI) later this year.

Cook stated that Apple recognizes the extraordinary potential of generative AI for breakthroughs, which is why the company is making significant investments in this field. He expressed confidence that this would lead to transformative advancements for users, enhancing productivity, problem-solving, and beyond.

“Every Mac that is powered by Apple silicon is an extraordinarily capable AI machine. In fact, there’s no better computer for AI on the market today,” Cook said, according to Reuters

At the meeting, Apple’s shareholders voted against a proposal that would have required the company to reveal more details about AI usage and ethical standards. The proposal, brought forward by the AFL-CIO’s pension trust, the largest federation of labor unions in the U.S., aimed to increase transparency about AI practices at Apple and has been similar to initiatives proposed at other tech companies.

The AFL-CIO wrote in a document posted by Apple that “AI systems should not be trained on copyrighted works, or the voices, likenesses, and performances of professional performers, without transparency, consent and compensation to creators and rights holders.”

Apple has been slower than some other companies to embrace generative AI, like the kind that powers chatbots such as ChatGPT. However, Cook pointed out that AI is already embedded in Apple products, such as the Apple Watch’s heart rate alerts. 

On Tuesday, Bloomberg revealed that Apple has abandoned its secretive initiative to develop a self-driving electric car, citing sources familiar with the decision. The development represents a shift for Apple, as the project — worth billions and in development for over 10 years — would have ventured the company into a new industry, making it a contender in the automotive sector. Bloomberg further reported that the engineers previously dedicated to the autonomous car project will be reassigned to generative AI efforts within the company’s artificial intelligence division.