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Apple inching closer to ChatGPT deal with OpenAI

ChatGPT is in the App Store now

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Talks between Apple and OpenAI have advanced so far, that a deal is reportedly close to completion that may bring ChatGPT generative AI technology to iOS 18 in some fashion.

A report published late on Friday is light on details. However, it does claim that Apple and OpenAI are "finalizing terms" to use ChatGPT in iOS 18.

In the report, Apple is also said to still be in talks with Google for Gemini. It's less clear how far along those discussions are.

Regardless that Friday's report from Bloomberg alludes to an imminent deal, it all seems to be related to Apple's rumored overall strategy to offer an AI App Store. The company is rumored to be planning to offer smaller on-device models of its own design while outsourcing LLMs to bigger existing companies like Google.

As with any of these rumors surrounding Apple's AI plans, it's best to take them with a grain of salt. Apple hired AI and search maven John Giannandrea six years ago. And, that hiring was after eight years at Google developing machine learning for the search engine giant.

And, Apple's efforts have been ongoing for some time. Since 2023, just days after that year's WWDC, Apple has been widely expected to debut its own AI efforts at WWDC. It will likely roll out AI-assisted browsing in Safari, is expected to include a Siri that's more conversational and versatile, as well as a generative AI system enabling it to chat.

Apple also plans to use its on-device processing as a major plus point for customers. This is emphasized somewhat by Apple's remarks during the recent iPad event, saying it has been shipping devices with AI hardware optimizations for years.

There has also been considerable discussion about Ajax, an LLM that can cover many different functions that Siri can theoretically perform. For example, Apple is expected to offer text summarization analyzing whether contacts are involved, and providing more intelligent results to Spotlight.

And, we broke news of a similar technology that is expected to be included system-wide to assist in summarizing voice notes, and other audio sources. This too is expected to be on-device.

While rivals have gone down the route of scraping public sources for data, earning criticism in the process, Apple thought differently. Instead, it offered millions to publishers to access news archives, keeping its own AI training above board.