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Apple wants to introduce AI to iPhones but with more efficiency: Report



Apple's Tim Cook

Apple, from the outside seems to be lagging behind in the AI race, but it is set to make a significant leap forward with its upcoming AI features, fueled by partnerships with OpenAI and Google, as well as its in-house model named Ajax. Recent reports indicate that Apple has been strategically laying the groundwork for a formidable AI strategy, which may soon come to fruition.

One of the most anticipated advancements is a revamped Siri, aimed at delivering a vastly improved virtual assistant experience. Apple’s research papers hint at a fundamental shift towards smaller, more efficient models, a crucial step towards realizing the vision of “Better Siri.” The company’s focus on on-device, fully offline AI features in iOS 18 underscores its commitment to enhancing user privacy and performance.

Key to Apple’s AI innovation is the development of more efficient large language models (LLMs). Researchers have devised methods to store LLM data on device SSDs instead of RAM, significantly boosting inference speed by up to 4-5 times on CPU and 20-25 times on GPU. By leveraging existing device storage, Apple aims to make AI models run faster and more efficiently, without compromising performance.

Moreover, Apple’s groundbreaking system called EELBERT demonstrates the ability to compress LLMs into much smaller sizes without significant quality loss. For instance, their compressed version of Google’s Bert model was 15 times smaller, yet only experienced a 4 percent reduction in quality. This achievement highlights Apple’s commitment to striking a balance between model size, performance, and latency.

At the core of Apple’s AI strategy lies the quest to solve the inherent tension in model development: the larger the model, the more powerful it becomes, but also the more resource-intensive and slower it operates. By optimizing model efficiency and performance, Apple aims to redefine the capabilities of virtual assistants like Siri, making them truly indispensable tools for users. Not only is Apple going to tell more about this at the WWDC event in June, it is also going to host an event very soon on May 7 where it is expected to reveal the new iPads powered by OLED displays along with an all-new Apple Pencil.

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