Apple is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that could challenge those of OpenAI Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and others, but the company has yet to devise a clear strategy for releasing the technology to consumers.
The iPhone maker has built its own framework to create large language models—the AI-based systems at the heart of new offerings like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard—according to people with knowledge of the efforts. With that foundation, known as “Ajax,” Apple also has created a chatbot service that some engineers call “Apple GPT.”
In recent months, the AI push has become a major effort for Apple, with several teams collaborating on the project, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The work includes trying to address potential privacy concerns related to the technology.
Apple shares gained as much as 2.3% to a record high of $198.23 after Bloomberg reported on the AI effort Wednesday, rebounding from earlier losses. Microsoft Corp., OpenAI’s partner and main backer, slipped about 1% on the news.
A spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment.
The company was caught flat-footed in the past year with the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard and Microsoft’s Bing AI. Though Apple has woven AI features into products for years, it’s now playing catch-up in the buzzy market for generative tools, which can create essays, images and even video based on text prompts. The technology has captured the imagination of consumers and businesses in recent months, leading to a stampede of related products.