Apple tests internal ChatGPT-like AI tool for customer support



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Summary

Apple is internally testing a new ChatGPT-like AI tool that allows support agents to provide faster technical support.

According to MacRumors sources, Apple recently launched a pilot program that gives select AppleCare support agents access to a new tool called “Ask”. This tool can automatically generate answers to technical questions from customers.

It draws on Apple’s internal knowledge base to ensure that the answers are factual, understandable and useful. Agents can rate a generated answer as “helpful” or “not helpful,” ask up to five follow-up questions per topic, and then share helpful answers with customers in online chats or over the phone.

Apple recommends that participating agents use Ask before using traditional search methods or seeking advice from a senior consultant. The tool will be rolled out in phases based on agent feedback.

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Apple does not yet have any concrete AI products to show, but is reportedly investing heavily in AI training and development. The company is said to be working on its own large language model framework called “Ajax” and a chatbot service called “AppleGPT”. The aforementioned “Ask” could be based on AppleGPT.

Apple has not yet shown its hand when it comes to generative AI

Apple recently released MLX, an efficient machine learning framework for Apple chips that allows users to train or refine a Transformer language model locally. Other teams are working on computer vision and generative AI for text, images, video, and 3D scenes.

Apple is reportedly planning to include generative AI capabilities in iOS 18 to improve Siri, iMessage, and other applications. Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke in early February about new generative AI capabilities coming later this year.

This update could be one of the largest software updates in the company’s history and help Apple keep pace with other AI assistants such as Google’s Gemini, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Microsoft’s Copilot. iOS 18 is expected to be released in September.

Apple is also said to be negotiating AI deals with media companies, offering more money than OpenAI or Google to license news articles. The content can be used for AI training or to improve chatbot offerings.

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