AI Was Teased for the Future at Apple’s iPad Launch

The AI drive by Apple (AAPL) has started. The business debuted its newest iPad Pros with an all-new M4 CPU on Tuesday. The Pro gains several advantages from the processor, such as an upgraded graphics processing unit and a speedier CPU.

However, what was most notable was Apple’s emphasis on the AI capabilities of the M4. Since 2017, Apple has been integrating its neural engine into CPUs, and it has long since touted the ways in which it powers various functionalities of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

However, the M4 introduction was unique in that it acted as a taster for the artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities the company will present at its WWDC event in June. At this event, Apple is anticipated to introduce a wide range of software features powered by generative AI for its numerous products.

AI and M4

During the keynote, Tim Millet, vice president of platform architecture at Apple, especially mentioned the M4’s AI credentials. The chip can execute 34 trillion operations per second, which is a standard metric of AI capability.

Additionally, according to Millet, the M4’s neural engine is more potent than any AI PC’s neural processing unit. That’s a clear jab at Qualcomm (QCOM), AMD (AMD), and Intel (INTC), which are launching or about to launch their own AI PC chips made to run complex language models on Windows laptops and desktops.

Apple made no mention of AI software improvements other than the basics of AI processing on the M4. Although Millet claimed that the M4 enables the iPad Pro to rapidly separate a subject from its background in a 4K video, the iPad Air with an M2 chip is still capable of doing the same task, albeit a little more slowly. The company’s only claim was that the M4 will speed up and improve the functionality of AI apps and features.

Additionally, the M4’s performance when training or running large language models (LLMs) was not disclosed by the business, despite the fact that Intel, Qualcomm, and AMD frequently use this as evidence of the advantages of their chips.

Nevertheless, it’s significant that Apple provided Wall Street and customers with an early peek into their AI thinking.

Many believe that Apple is lagging behind in the battle for generative AI, thus investors are placing a lot of money on WWDC to be Apple’s major AI launch event.

Over the past few months, CEO Tim Cook has been bringing up artificial intelligence (AI) more and more. He stated on the most recent earnings call that the iPhone manufacturer is making significant investments in the technology.

This entails acquiring smaller AI companies and, as reported by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, negotiating with OpenAI and Google about leveraging their sizable language models to power Apple’s AI offerings.

Analysts predict that Apple’s generative AI products will act as a catalyst to increase iPhone sales at a time when users are keeping their phones longer on average and striking new features that set one generation apart from the next are hard to come by.

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