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Apple Buys Canadian AI Startup ‘DarwinAI’ Expanding in Generative AI Industry

The unexpected success of ChatGPT last year left many internet companies rushing to incorporate their own interpretation of artificial intelligence into their top-selling products.
Although Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has stated that the business will “break new ground in generative AI” this year, the company has been a little hesitant to get started on this one.
We finally have some clarity on the “how,” even while the details of the “what” are being kept under wraps. With the purchase of the Canadian business DarwinAI in 2024, Apple looks to be carrying on the pattern of buying over thirty AI startups in 2023.

Bloomberg, which first reported on the acquisition, said that although DarwinAI is in charge of developing technology for visually inspecting parts during manufacturing, Apple might be more interested in its efforts to create AI systems that are “smaller and faster.” This could all be significant since Apple is allegedly planning to have the AI features on the iPhone 16 run locally rather than on the cloud.
Although Apple did not confirm or refute the allegation, it did disclose that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time.” The report further states that the deal was finalized earlier this year. Significantly, the online presence of DarwinAI has vanished, and its creator Alexander Wong’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he joined Apple in January as the “director of machine learning research.”

In a few months, at WWDC 2024, we should witness the first results of Apple’s shift toward artificial intelligence. Apple usually releases beta versions of its most recent operating system versions during the World Wide Developers Conference. According to reports, the corporation has a “edict” that iOS 18 be packed with “features running on the company’s large language model.”
According to early speculations, Siri will be able to integrate AI with iMessage and even AppleCare, as well as summarize information and respond to queries in a ChatGPT-style. There’s a story that suggests Apple is almost ready to release a generative AI tool for app development, which would be of particular interest to developers attending WWDC.

Even while Apple frequently releases updated versions of iOS that work with a respectable amount of older phones, it’s likely that some of the next iPhone AI features will only work with the iPhone 16 when it launches.

Even though the A11 Bionic processor in the iPhone 8 introduced a Neural Engine for machine learning, the field of artificial intelligence has advanced significantly since the chip’s development in 2017. When viewed through that perspective, the possibility that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro will have the same chipset again may be instructive. It’s possible that the finest on-device AI features would require a significant hardware bump, necessitating the return of chip parity to the norm.

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