Apple is in talks with Baidu to bring iOS 18 AI features to China

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has entered into negotiations with Baidu to license the use of the company’s AI models in China. If the deal is finalized, it is likely that some of the AI features of iOS 18 in China will be powered by Baidu’s large language model.

Chinese law requires technology companies to obtain approval from the country’s regulator before using AI models.

The Chinese regulator has so far approved more than 40 models, including Baidu’s Ernie Bot. Google’s Gemini AI does not have regulatory approval from China.

China has blocked access to Google’s search engine, and in general, Google, like OpenAI, currently has no official presence in the country.

The Apple-Baidu deal is not yet finalized, but it is said that the deal will be finalized before June and Apple’s WWDC conference. Apparently, some of the AI features of iOS 18 will be run locally and some on the cloud.

The beta version of iOS 18 is likely to be unveiled this summer and then released to the public for iPhone users in September.

Here are some additional details:

  • Apple is also in talks with Google and OpenAI to license their AI models.
  • The AI features of iOS 18 are expected to include things like improved Siri voice recognition, better image and video processing, and more personalized recommendations.
  • iOS 18 is expected to be released in the fall of 2024.


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