Apple, Meta in Talks to Enhance iPhones and Macs with Advanced Llama 3 AI Capabilities (Updated: Apple declined partnership)

Tech giant Apple is in discussion with longtime competitor Meta Platforms (Facebook's parent company) over a potential collaboration to improve its future Apple Intelligence system with the integration of Meta's Llama 3 large language model across various Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers, that are going to be launched later this year.

For starters, Apple Intelligence will be available with iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and new Mac OS updates, enabling users to tap into advanced generative AI directly in their apps. This would include questions and answers, generating or summarizing text, editing images directly on Apple devices, and much more.

The potential of Apple and Meta becoming partners is remarkable, considering how the two titans have always been rivals in their business approach. This was further intensified by Apple's privacy updates back in 2021, which affected Meta's ad targeting capabilities, leading to significant revenue loss.

It seems that the competitive landscape for generative AI is pushing both companies toward possible cooperation despite those past battels. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the talks would continue, and implementing Llama 3 into Apple's ecosystem would parallel Apple's current agreement with OpenAI for its ChatGPT model.

In Apple's deal with OpenAI, ChatGPT does not collect user data and cleans the interaction histories of chatbot conversations. Apple plans to use similar capabilities from Meta's Llama 3 and might bring it soon into Siri in an attempt to answer more complex questions, making it also available through writing tools for email composition or other daily tasks.
Even though Apple's deal with OpenAI works on a revenue-share basis through App Store transactions, not direct payments, the exact terms for Meta's Llama 3 integration aren't specific. Whereas ChatGPT is based on a closed-source model, Llama 3 is very well known to be an open-source nature, raising questions about how it would be monetized within Apple's ecosystem.

Apart from the discussions with Meta, Apple is said to have sought collaborations with other developers of AI software, including courtings by Google LLC for its Gemini LLM family and discussions with startups such as Anthropic PBC.

The outcome of Apple's discussions with Meta will likely determine how advanced AI capabilities are eventually integrated within its devices as it continues to bargain its way through this evolving landscape.

Update on 25th June 2024:

Apple declined a partnership with Meta over privacy concerns, as reported by Bloomberg. Talks in March about integrating Meta's Llama AI into iOS did not advance. Apple signed with OpenAI for ChatGPT integration in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, allowing Siri to use ChatGPT. Apple also plans deals with Google's Gemini and Anthropic, offering users a choice of AI models. The Wall Street Journal had earlier suggested ongoing discussions between Apple and Meta, but Bloomberg confirmed Apple never seriously considered the partnership.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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