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Apple in talks to license Google Gemini AI for iPhones

Google's Gemini is already an app but may become part of iOS 18

Google's controversial Gemini generative AI technology could be integrated directly into Apple's iOS to improve Siri.

Apple has now regularly been reported to be planning an AI improvement for Siri, and to launch an iOS with much more integrated and prominent AI at WWDC 2024. Now a report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is in talks with Google to license the latter's Gemini AI.

It's already possible to run Gemini as an app, but the report says that the talks are now active negotiations concerning Apple arranging to license Gemini, Google's set of generative AI models, in order to power some unspecified new iOS features. It's expected that these features will be in this year's forthcoming iOS 18.

According to Bloomberg on early Monday morning, Apple has recently held discussions with OpenAI. Unspecified sources said to be involved in the talks, say that Apple has considered using OpenAI's model.

It's not clear whether the talks with Google mean that Apple has decided against OpenAI's ChatGPT technology.

If the talks do lead to an AI partnership between Apple and Google, it will build on the two firms' existing search agreements. According to testimony revealed during the Department of Justice's case accusing Google of antitrust measures, that deal is worth $20 billion a year to Apple.

Given how the Google investigation has repeatedly concentrated on the terms of its deal with Apple, it's likely that regulators would have to approve any AI partnership.

Gemini is the latest of Google's AI systems, a renamed and reworked version of its original Bard technology. Google Bard was poorly received.

However, Gemini has had severe problems too, with Google removing its ability to create images of people, and most recently limiting its election-related answers.

Nonetheless, following the report, CNBC says that shares in Google's parent company Alphabet were up 2.7% in premarket trading.