Apple is reportedly partnering with Chinese giant Baidu for iOS 18’s AI features

Macworld

According to the Wall Street Journal and others, shares of Baidu are up today on reports out of the Chinese media that Apple is in talks to license AI services from the Chinese tech giant. Baidu operates ERNIE Bot, a generative AI based on a large language model based AI similar in concept to ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini. Apple was previously reported to be in talks with Google on licensing Gemini for use in iOS.

It’s not clear what the business arrangement looks like, or where or how exactly Baidu’s AI technology will appear in Apple’s products. Neither Apple nor Baidu have confirmed the reports, but that’s par for the course—Apple tends to keep such things secret until the products are announced. Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT are not available in China at the moment, and may never be, so if Apple is licensing technology it will need to turn to a Chinese company.

It’s also not uncommon for Apple to find Chinese companies to flesh out its technology stack in China, where local regulations can get in the way of using the same partners it uses in the rest of the world, or even its own technology. For example, Apple uses Chinese company AutoNavi to provide mapping data in China. It’s quite possible—likely even—that Apple’s AI plans involve using tech from Google or another company in most of the world and Baidu in China specifically.

Apple Inc

​Macworld Macworld

According to the Wall Street Journal and others, shares of Baidu are up today on reports out of the Chinese media that Apple is in talks to license AI services from the Chinese tech giant. Baidu operates ERNIE Bot, a generative AI based on a large language model based AI similar in concept to ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini. Apple was previously reported to be in talks with Google on licensing Gemini for use in iOS.

It’s not clear what the business arrangement looks like, or where or how exactly Baidu’s AI technology will appear in Apple’s products. Neither Apple nor Baidu have confirmed the reports, but that’s par for the course—Apple tends to keep such things secret until the products are announced. Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT are not available in China at the moment, and may never be, so if Apple is licensing technology it will need to turn to a Chinese company.

It’s also not uncommon for Apple to find Chinese companies to flesh out its technology stack in China, where local regulations can get in the way of using the same partners it uses in the rest of the world, or even its own technology. For example, Apple uses Chinese company AutoNavi to provide mapping data in China. It’s quite possible—likely even—that Apple’s AI plans involve using tech from Google or another company in most of the world and Baidu in China specifically.

Apple Inc 

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