Apple just killed its electric car project, shifting focus to generative AI

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple is canceling one in all its open secret initiatives — constructing an autonomous electrical automobile, and shifting many of the 2,000 staff engaged on it to give attention to generative AI efforts as a substitute. 

The interior announcement was made by Apple COO Jeff Williams and an Apple vp main the electrical automobile mission, Kevin Lynch, based on a report by Bloomberg

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Apple’s AI workforce is led by John Giannandrea, an Apple govt who’s been reportedly centered on generative AI endeavors for the previous couple of years, together with the event of huge language mannequin functions (LLMs) like AI chatbots (assume, ChatGPT). 

Not all staff shall be so fortunate, as Bloomberg says there shall be layoffs. TechCrunch reports some have already been let go, but it surely’s unclear how many individuals shall be laid off. Other than software program engineers and staff working carefully with AI, the “Particular Tasks Group” or SPG, as Apple known as its electrical automobile workforce, additionally included {hardware} and automotive engineers, who could or could not have the ability to apply for different jobs inside the firm. 

Apple’s electrical automobile endeavors started in 2014, and the corporate has reportedly invested a number of billions of {dollars} into each totally autonomous automobiles and electrical automobiles to compete with Tesla and others. 

Its most up-to-date launch, the Apple Vision Pro, is a mixed-reality headset and its first new product class because the launch of Apple Watch in 2015. Imaginative and prescient Professional has gotten the corporate a whole lot of consideration for its futuristic and revolutionary nature. 

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Apple has been notably absent within the generative AI increase over over the previous 12 months because the launch of ChatGPT. The corporate hasn’t launched exceptional generative AI expertise in the course of the rise in recognition of genAI, not even whereas its greatest opponents, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, all have rivaled OpenAI’s ChatGPT with totally different generative AI expertise developments. 

Some stories in July indicated Apple is engaged on an AI chatbot of its personal, used internally and known as Apple GPT, which runs on a proprietary foundational mannequin. Whereas Apple has been largely quiet about incorporating generative AI into its units, we’re prone to see at the least some new genAI options showcased at this 12 months’s WWDC in June.

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