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Tim Cook praises potential of AI but claims there are ‘issues that need to be sorted’

Apple has been facing a lot of criticism from users and even some of its employees for lagging behind when it comes to Siri. As the company announced its Q2 2023 results on Thursday, Apple CEO Tim Cook praised the potential of AI but, at the same time, said that there are “issues that need to be sorted.”

Tim Cook says generative AI is ‘huge’ but has issues

Credit Suisse’s Shannon Cross asked Tim Cook during a call with investors about how Apple feels about generative AI since that is “more than the topic of the day.” Unsurprisingly, Cook said he wouldn’t comment on product roadmaps, but the CEO admitted that the potential of generative AI “is certainly very interesting.”

The executive listed some of Apple’s achievements in the AI segment, such as using the technology to create features like Fall Detection, Crash Detection, and the Apple Watch’s ECG. “These things are not only great features, they’re saving people’s lives out there,” Cook said.

But when it comes to AI platforms like ChatGPT, which are capable of generating things like text, images, and even audio, Apple’s CEO noted that there are “a number of issues that need to be sorted, as is being talked about in a number of different places.” He added that Apple sees AI as “huge” and will continue to invest in related technologies for its products.

Siri is lagging behind its competitors

AI is changing how people interact with technology, and Apple is lagging behind with Siri

Despite what Tim Cook said, the situation inside Apple is not favorable for those working in the Siri and AI teams. A recent report revealed that even Apple employees hate Siri and agree that the company’s virtual assistant is not as good as its competitors, especially now with OpenAI’s GPT technology.

Another report heard from employees that Siri’s database is “clunky” and that it takes weeks to update it with new “basic features.” At the same time, Apple has been losing its key AI and machine learning engineers to Google and other companies.

Of course, part of this is due to the company’s concerns about privacy. While OpenAI relies on collecting as much data as it can, Siri and Apple’s other AI-based features process all data locally on your device. There’s also an ongoing debate about whether ChatGPT and other generative AI are plagiarizing other web content.

It’s unclear whether Apple plans to introduce its own generative AI at WWDC 2023 next month, but that doesn’t seem likely considering the latest reports.

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