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Major shareholders want to spoil Apple’s AI initiatives before WWDC

Published Feb 27th, 2024 8:50AM EST
Siri on the Vision Pro headset. Apple GPT
Image: Apple Inc.

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Major Apple shareholders want the Cupertino firm to announce its use of AI before the company is ready to reveal its plans to the public. According to the Financial Times, these shareholders want to pressure the company to reveal its AI tools at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, February 28th. As it stands now, Apple almost certainly plans to hold off on making any AI announcements until the WWDC 2024 developer conference in June.

FT says the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations asked Apple to disclose its use of AI and the possible ethical guidelines for adopting this technology. Norges Bank Investment Management and Legal & General, some of Apple’s largest shareholders, will likely support this resolution. Basically, they want Apple to talk about AI-related risks, as the company talks very little about it.

With that, these shareholders want Apple to increase transparency around its AI development. “Apple should be transparent in their uses of AI and their risk management processes,” Legal & General said.

On the other hand, Apple urges its investors to reject the resolution as “the scope of the requested report is overly broad and could encompass disclosure of strategic plans and initiatives harmful to our competitive position.” In the previous earning calls, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook vaguely addressed its AI initiatives:

Tim Cook with an Apple Vision Pro customerImage source: Apple Inc.

Cook said Apple will spend a “tremendous amount of time and effort” on AI, with details coming later this year.

Moments like these [the Vision Pro launch] are what we live for at Apple. They’re why we do what we do. They’re why we’re so unflinchingly dedicated to groundbreaking innovation and why we’re so focused on pushing technology to its limits as we work to enrich the lives of our users. 

As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that will shape the future. That includes artificial intelligence, where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we’re excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year.

Apple CEO then addressed questions about generative Artificial Intelligence during the call. He said it’s not typical of Apple to announce new products before they’re ready. But he teased that Apple has some things in the works “they are incredibly excited about.” The announcements will come later this year:

In terms of generative AI, which, I’d guess, is your focus, we have a lot of work going on internally as I’ve alluded to before.

Our MO, if you will, has always been to do work and then talk about work and not to get out in front of ourselves. And so, we’re going to hold that to this as well. But we’ve got some things that we are incredibly excited about that we’ll be talking about later this year.

BGR will cover Apple’s annual shareholder meeting as we learn more about it.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.