Of course Apple wants to bring Google’s Gemini AI to iPhones

Apple is reportedly in talks with Google to integrate its Gemini AI in iPhones, Bloomberg reports, a move that should help both companies compete with OpenAI and its (heavily invested) partner Microsoft. While it might seem like an admission that Apple is lagging behind on AI, the partnership fits if you think of generative AI models as an evolution of web searching, something Google already provides to all of Apple’s devices. According to the report, Gemini could be the cloud-based generative AI engine for Siri and other iPhone apps, while Apple’s models could be woven into the upcoming iOS 18 for on-device AI tasks.

Bloomberg notes that Apple has also had discussions with OpenAI about using its own models, and it could still end up partnering with another AI outfit, like Anthropic. Apple could conceivably even work with multiple partners until its own generative models are up to snuff. But teaming up with Google makes the most sense, especially since the search giant is already giving Apple millions to bring search to the Safari browser.

Apple needs some sort of generative AI solution that it can implement this year (its own Ajax model will likely take years to match Gemini and OpenAI), and Google needs a quick way to bring its AI smarts to billions of devices.

There are regulatory concerns to consider — the Department of Justice has already sued Google over its search dominance, including the way it pays Apple and other companies to use its search engine. But given the specter of Microsoft and OpenAI’s partnership — which turned the Bing search engine into an artificial intelligence hype machine overnight, and is now powering all of Microsoft’s Copilot AI solutions — the potential gains could be worth the risk for Apple and Google.

There are still technical issues for Google to deal with too: Gemini was recently under fire for inaccurately rendering historical images. But even considering potential growing pains, a partnership with Apple helps both companies. And it also gives Apple room to develop its own models while OpenAI and Google deal with the growing pains of generative AI.

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