Apple and ChatGPT creator closer to iPhone AI deal

Apple Inc. has renewed discussions with OpenAI about using the startup’s technology to power some new features coming to the iPhone later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two companies have begun discussing the possible agreement terms and how the OpenAI features would be integrated into Apple’s iOS 18, the next iPhone operating system, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

The move marks a reopening of dialogue between the companies. Apple had talked to OpenAI about a deal earlier this year, though work between the two parties had been minimal since then.

Apple also remains in discussions with Alphabet Inc.’s Google about licensing that company’s Gemini chatbot.

Apple hasn’t made a final decision on which partners it will use, and there’s no guarantee that a deal will be worked out.

It’s possible that the company ultimately reaches an agreement with both OpenAI and Google — or picks another provider entirely.

Representatives for Apple, OpenAI and Google declined to comment.

The next iPhone operating system will include several new features based on Apple’s in-house large language model—AI software that can generate human-sounding text.

However, the company has also been seeking partners to power a chatbot-like feature akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Bloomberg first reported in March on the discussions, which have included AI startup Anthropic as well.

The latest development comes about a month and a half before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where it’s poised to introduce new AI software and services.

The company is planning to tout its features as more seamlessly integrated into its devices than rival AI offerings, with better privacy protections.

Last year, Cook said he personally uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT but indicated that there were “a number of issues that need to be sorted.”

He promised that new AI features would come to Apple’s platforms on a “very thoughtful basis.”

Relying on partners would help accelerate Apple’s push into chatbots and sidestep some risks.

By outsourcing the generative AI features to another company, Cook is potentially lessening the liability for its platform.

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Apple and ChatGPT creator closer to iPhone AI deal