Apple and AI: Racing Ahead or Just Catching Up?

Apple has released "MGIE," an AI model for instruction-based image editing.

By J. Scott Anderson

Apple has always had a knack for creating buzz in the tech world. But as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the new playground for innovation, many are left wondering if Apple is still leading the pack or just struggling to keep pace. 

The core of the debate seems to revolve around Apple’s potential to offer a more secure and private AI experience. However, the skepticism leans more towards Apple playing catch up rather than breaking new ground.

Ever heard of the idea of “tools making tools”? It’s about using AI to create even better AI technologies. OpenAI, for instance, is already in the fast lane, accelerating its tool development by using its own AI creations. It’s like a snowball effect where one innovation fuels the next, and so on. 

Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have boarded this train yet. Despite the whispers of some AI utilization within Apple, the extent and effectiveness of this usage seem to be in question. Will throwing a few billion into the AI pot stir things up? Maybe.

There’s a growing chorus for Apple to step up its AI game. Imagine having a macOS Help feature supercharged with AI or an Xcode infused with smart algorithms to ease a variety of tasks. And then there’s Siri. A front-end AI could act as a bridge between Siri and the user, interpreting user requests into Siri’s language, making interactions smoother and more intuitive. These aren’t moonshots, but realistic, achievable enhancements that could significantly up the user experience.

But here’s the snag. Apple’s tradition of annual releases might be a roadblock to quickly jumping on the AI bandwagon. This routine doesn’t leave much room for swift course corrections when facing disruptive tech like AI. Despite being the big kahuna in the global market, this approach could be a chink in Apple’s armor. The AI wave is rolling in fast, and the longer Apple waits to ride it, the tougher it’ll be to catch up.

The clock is ticking. Rolling out some AI-infused basics now could reassure the world and their customers about Apple’s stride in AI. But if Apple continues to stick to its annual release script, we might not see any substantial AI integration until the next big reveal, maybe a year from now. And in the tech world, a year is a long time.

The bottom line? Apple’s got the resources and the smarts to make a big splash in the AI pond. But it’s going to take more than just deep pockets. It’s about breaking free from the annual release mold, embracing the rapid evolution of AI, and most importantly, showing the world they’re still as innovative as ever. 

The tech community, along with Apple’s loyal customer base, is waiting with bated breath to see how Apple navigates the AI wave. Is it going to be a leap ahead or just a game of catch-up? Only time will tell.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.