During Apple’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s plans to provide more details about its utilization of generative artificial intelligence later this year. Cook emphasized Apple’s significant investment in this area, highlighting the breakthrough potential for generative AI in enhancing productivity and problem-solving capabilities for users.

While Apple has been perceived as slower in deploying generative AI compared to rivals like Microsoft and Google, Cook assured shareholders that AI is already at work behind the scenes in Apple’s products. He mentioned that more explicit AI features would be unveiled later this year, with Bloomberg previously reporting Apple’s intention to leverage AI for improving data search capabilities on its devices.

Cook stated, “Every Mac powered by Apple silicon is an extraordinarily capable AI machine, and there’s no better computer for AI on the market today.”

Despite Apple’s progress in AI, shareholders voted against a proposal urging the company to disclose more information about its AI usage and ethical guidelines. The proposal, put forth by the AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor union federation, gained support with 37.5% of votes but did not pass. The AFL-CIO called for a report on Apple’s AI use and the disclosure of ethical guidelines related to AI technology.

Brandon Rees, deputy director for corporations and capital markets at the AFL-CIO, expressed hopes for Apple to improve disclosure practices regarding AI ethics, citing the company’s lag behind other tech giants in this regard. Apple, in opposition to the proposal, argued that detailed disclosures might reveal strategic information as it competes in the rapidly evolving AI field.

A similar proposal from the AFL-CIO is expected to be addressed at Walt Disney’s annual meeting in April. The labor union emphasized the importance of transparency, consent, and compensation to creators and rights holders in AI systems, urging companies to adopt ethical guidelines.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 12:44 PM IST


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