Here’s more proof Apple is going big with AI this year

Apple Siri
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The fact that Apple is going to debut a new generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool in iOS 18 this year is probably one of the worst-kept secrets in tech at the moment. Now, another morsel has leaked out surrounding Apple’s future AI plans, and it could shed light on what sort of AI features Apple fans might soon get to experience.

As first reported by Bloomberg, earlier this year Apple bought Canadian startup DarwinAI, with dozens of the company’s workers joining Apple once the deal was completed. It’s thought that Apple made this move in an attempt to bolster its AI capabilities in the last few months before iOS 18 will be revealed, which is expected to happen at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.

Bloomberg’s report says that DarwinAI “has developed AI technology for visually inspecting components during the manufacturing process.” One of its “core technologies,” however, is making AI faster and more efficient, and that could be the reason Apple chose to open its wallet. Apple intends its AI to run entirely on-device, presumably to protect your privacy by not sharing AI inputs with the cloud, and this would benefit from DarwinAI’s tech. After all, Apple won’t want its flagship AI features to result in sluggish iPhone performance.

Apple’s AI plans


(Image credit: Unsplash [Omid Armin])

This is apparently just the latest move Apple has made in the AI arena. Thanks to a series of leaks and statements from Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company is known to be making serious efforts to challenge AI market leaders like OpenAI and Microsoft.

For instance, it’s been widely reported that Apple will soon unveil its own generative AI tool, which has been dubbed Ajax and AppleGPT during its development process. This could give a major boost to Apple’s Siri assistant, which has long lagged behind competitors such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. As well as that, we could see generative AI tools debut in apps like Pages and Apple Music, rivaling products like Microsoft’s Copilot and Spotify’s AI DJ.

Tim Cook has dropped several hints regarding Apple’s plans, saying customers can expect to see a host of AI features “later this year.” The Apple chief has called AI a “huge opportunity” for his company and has said that Apple intends to “break new ground” in this area. When it comes to specifics, though, Cook has been far less forthcoming, presumably preferring to reveal all at WWDC.

It’s unknown whether Apple will have time to properly integrate DarwinAI’s tools into iOS 18 before it is announced to the world, but it seems certain it will make use of them over the coming months and years. It could be just one more piece of the AI puzzle that Apple is attempting to solve.

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Alex Blake
Freelance Contributor

Alex Blake has been fooling around with computers since the early 1990s, and since that time he's learned a thing or two about tech. No more than two things, though. That's all his brain can hold. As well as TechRadar, Alex writes for iMore, Digital Trends and Creative Bloq, among others. He was previously commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine. That means he mostly covers the world of Apple and its latest products, but also Windows, computer peripherals, mobile apps, and much more beyond. When not writing, you can find him hiking the English countryside and gaming on his PC.