Powering a Smartphone with AI: Apple and OpenAI in Talks

As Apple is reportedly in talks to harness OpenAI’s technology, Mobile Magazine considers how AI is starting to power smartphones worldwide

Tech giant Apple has reportedly renewed discussions about OpenAI, the company that powers ChatGPT, about using its generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) technology.

Our sister publication AI Magazine reported at the start of 2024 that Apple was allegedly seeking to intensify its Gen AI operations. This would be to specifically integrate AI technology into its upcoming smartphones.

Now, according to Bloomberg News, both companies are discussing a potential agreement over how OpenAI features would be integrated into Apple’s next iPhone operating system, iOS 18. Whilst details are scarce, it is interesting to consider how AI could be incorporated into the smartphone, with positives including improved user experience, predicted suggestions and virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri.

Maximising a mobile opportunity: AI as Copilot

The telecommunications industry is undergoing huge rapid transformation around the world, as it begins to harness new technologies like AI. In fact, according to PwC, global data consumption over telecom networks will nearly triple in the near future, from 3.4 million petabytes in 2022, to 9.7 million petabytes in 2027.

With AI already being widely used throughout the sector, it has offered a range of benefits such as boosting customer experience (CX). As a result, the business landscape is becoming more competitive. 

Apple has previously not focused its attention on developing and harnessing AI. The tech giant was recently overtaken by Microsoft, who recently claimed the title of the world’s most valuable company. Our sister publication Technology Magazine reported in January 2024 that this was as a result of slowing iPhone demand and Microsoft’s recent AI announcements closing the gap between the two companies. 

If Apple were to collaborate with OpenAI, there may be updates to features like Siri to enhance the user experience. Developments like this could ensure that the tech giant will remain competitive in an immensely fast-paced changing market.

Likewise, Apple has always emphasised data privacy. In this vein, on-device AI processing could ensure that Apple maintains greater control over their data, as they would be processing it themselves.

Keeping up with AI

According to Qualcomm, AI is running on a user’s phone for a variety of use cases by harnessing neutral networks to help take better photos, understand a different language, identify music and assist with gaming.

Other tech giants are already ahead in the race to obtain and harness AI, particularly within the context of smartphone technology. 

In January 2024, Samsung and Google Cloud announced a multi-year partnership to bring Google Cloud’s Gen AI technology to Samsung smartphones. This offering signalled a revolutionary change in the global smartphone market, with Samsung being the first Google Cloud partner to deploy Google’s Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 Gen AI models to their smartphone devices.

Apple competitor Microsoft is also already incorporating AI vastly into its products, having this week announced a billion-dollar investment into Indonesia’s AI infrastructure. The tech giant recently overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company.

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