Apple has acquired no less than 32 startups that primarily deal with research and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) throughout 2023, according to new data compiled by Statista and reported by Stocklytics.
This figure shows Apple’s dedication to AI development as the company is reportedly preparing to publicly unveil some sort of AI features this year, presumably as soon as WWDC 2024 in June. The data also shows that Apple’s 32 acquisitions are the most out of all major tech companies when it comes to the field of AI, triumphing the likes of Google and Microsoft in the process.
Data reveals that Google and Microsoft acquired 21 and 17 AI startups each in 2023, trialing the 32 acquisitions Apple made which is a new record. Meta also had its fair share of AI investments as it bought 18 AI companies, whereas Amazon fell behind with just 10 reported acquisitions.
Stocklytics additionally reports that Apple leads the pack when it comes to equity and add-on investments in AI from 2017 onwards with 21 percent of total expenditure in the field, ahead of Microsoft’s 12 percent share and Google’s eight percent.
Apple usually keeps its plans secretive, but the company is feeling the pressure of unveiling work in the technology in light of the recent strides in generative AI brought forward by OpenAI and its ChatGPT chatbot. This popularity prompted the rest of the market to rush to bring their generative AI services to the market with the likes of Google Bard and Microsoft Copilot.
Apple CEO Tim Cook teased that the company will unveil its work on AI within this year, though he expectedly stopped short of unveiling more details about the exact nature of these features. Nevertheless, extensive reports proclaim that iOS 18 and other major software releases will be filled to the brim with AI features that should encompass every part of the update from Siri, Messages, and Apple Music to Xcode and iWork.
For example, generative AI in apps such as Messages and Siri could help them better understand questions contextually and provide more accurate auto-complete predictions for sentences and phrases. These features and more rumored to be heading to iOS 18 have made some people within the company refer to the update as one of the biggest in iPhone’s history.
Other reports agree that Apple is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on its AI endeavors, including licensing deals with established publishers to acquire rights to their archives for accurate training of AI models.