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Foxconn to Build Servers for Apple’s Testing of AI Services

Foxconn to Build Servers for Apple’s Testing of AI Services

Foxconn will be Apple’s exclusive supplier of servers dedicated to training and testing artificial intelligence services, says a report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via South China Morning Post).

The servers will be built in Vietnam, as Apple is working to diversify its supply chain away from being so China-focused. Foxconn has experience in building servers, as it currently supplies servers for Amazon, OpenAI, and Nvidia for their AI applications. Foxconn is already Apple’s primary supplier of data center servers.

In July, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said Apple is working on its own “Apple GPT” artificial intelligence projects, which could rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Gurman says work on AI has become a priority at Apple during the last few months. Chatbot services and AI functions in apps have rapidly expanded in recent months, driving Apple’s exploration of the technology.

Gurman says his sources tell him that the iPhone maker has developed an “Ajax” framework for large language models like ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing, and Google’s Bard. The company has also developed its own internal chatbot that some engineers refer to as “Apple GPT,” which is a play on ChatGPT. However, Gurman says Apple does not yet have a “clear strategy” for creating a product for consumers.

Apple is reportedly worried that it is lagging behind on new AI-based technologies, which are quickly changing how users interact with smartphones. Currently, Apple is limiting access to the “Apple GPT” technology, as Apple employees must get special access to access the chatbot app that Apple is currently working on, and the app’s output cannot be used to develop new product features for customers. Apple GPT can currently answer questions based on the data that Apple used to train it.

During last week’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said AI is “absolutely critical” to Apple while also saying that Apple has been looking into AI and generative AI “for years.” In an interview with Reuters following the call, the Apple chief executive also suggested that Apple’s investments in AI are a big part of its $22.6 billion spending on research and development.

Cook added that Apple will work to “responsibly advance our products” with AI technologies and will continue to announce products as they are ready for market.