Apple reportedly working on a robot that can do chores

As always, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has gotten a few scoops ahead of Apple’s upcoming WWDC showcase. Most of his latest report solidifies rumours of Apple working with OpenAI to enhance iOS and Siri, but at the end he also mentions some future products he’s learned about, and while they won’t be revealed at WWDC, they’re the most interesting.

Specifically, he mentions that Apple’s AI division is working on two robotics projects. One is a tabletop robotic arm that has a display on one end. This sounds kind of like the robot arms you’d see working on assembly lines and in robot coffee shops. That said, it’s supposed to be using AI, so perhaps it’s able to learn on the fly or pick up various objects with varying degrees of force? The display on one end makes me think it might be used in Apple Stores, but time will tell.

The next robot Gurman mentions is supposed to follow you around your house and help you with chores. This is obviously way more ambitious and something rooted in the very oldest of science fiction texts. Amazon has tried something similar with its Amazon Astro robot, but as many people have found out, Astro was really underbaked and will need some significant improvements to make it useful to most people.

To wrap up his article Gurman also talks about how Apple is testing AirPods designs with cameras and AI enhancements. There’s no mention in the report what these enhancements might be, but they could be as small as using AI to enhance Apple’s ‘Active Transparency’ mode or as far-reaching as building an AI assistant right into the hardware of the earbuds.

Beyond that, it seems like Apple is planning to use Open-AI’s generative AI in some ways to support Siri. Analysts are predicting this to be a short-to-medium term partnership to hold over Apple’s users while the tech giant works on its own in-house chat bot/AI software. The report also mentions that many of Apple’s new AI features, including the OpenAI-powered chatbot, will allow users to opt out if they want to remain more private.

Source: Bloomberg

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