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Tim Cook says AI is ‘huge,’ but flags the need to be ‘deliberate and thoughtful’ on how Apple deploys it

Apple CEO Tim Cook.AI is “huge,” but it needs to be carefully deployed, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call Thursday.

Eric Gaillard/Reuters

  • AI is “huge,” but Apple will remain careful folding it into products, CEO Tim Cook said Thursday.
  • Cook said Apple has already been incorporating AI technology into some of its products.
  • His reticence stands in contrast to the recent AI-focused earnings calls of some tech competitors.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the AI wave sweeping tech is “huge,” though he sounded a note of caution about how the technology would be deployed at his company.

“It’s very important to be deliberate and thoughtful on how you approach these things,” Cook said during the company’s earnings call Thursday.

Cook’s relatively restrained take on the technology comes as competitors Microsoft and Google have leaned into generative AI in a big, buzzy way — with chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing (which uses OpenAI’s technology under their partnership), and Google’s Bard storming onto the scene.

He said Apple already has folded machine learning and AI into some of its products — and acknowledged that its potential to go even further is “huge.”

Touting the company’s existing use of AI, he referenced features like “fall detection” found on some Apple Watch models, and “crash detection” found on certain Apple devices.

“These things are not only great features, they’re saving people’s lives out there,” Cook said. “We view AI as huge and we’ll continue weaving it in our products on a very thoughtful basis.”

The remarks echoed his comments at Apple’s previous earnings call in February, in which Cook similarly affirmed AI’s “enormous potential,” but kept things broad. 

Still, Cook said Apple doesn’t comment on future product roadmaps — and he barely mentioned the subject when compared to tech competitors: AI was mentioned a total of 168 times by Meta, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon in their earnings calls over the past month. 

Cook, on the other hand, responded to exactly one question about AI, spending less than a few minutes on the subject — out of a call with Wall Street analysts that lasted about an hour.

Meanwhile, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has himself been among those in the field sounding concerns about the potential directions generative AI technology could take. In March, he said on tech researcher Lex Fridman’s podcast that he was nervous about the technology’s potential to spread misinformation, for instance. 

Read the original article on Business Insider