What Can We Expect from Apple's Secret AI Lab? Unveiling the Mystery

While Apple's major AI operations are centered in California and Seattle, the corporation has expanded its presence by opening offices in Zurich, Switzerland, to focus on AI research

Preeti Anand
New Update


Apple has assembled a team of Google AI scientists to build a secret research hub in Zurich. This secret European facility is committed to developing sophisticated AI models and goods. According to LinkedIn profiles, Apple hired 36 individuals from Google in 2018, coinciding with the arrival of John Giannandrea, a former Google employee, as Apple's senior AI executive.


While Apple's major AI operations are centered in California and Seattle, the corporation has expanded its presence by opening offices in Zurich, Switzerland, to focus on AI research. The recent purchases of AI startups FaceShift (VR) and Fashwall (image recognition) are believed to have impacted Apple's decision to build the city's clandestine "Vision Lab."

Former Google Experts Lead the Charge

Apple's AI team includes numerous former Google personnel, including Giannandrea, who previously led Google Brain and is now a member of DeepMind. Yoshua Bengio, a former key AI scientist at Google, is now Apple's senior AI and machine learning research director. Ruoming Pang, a former head of AI speech recognition research at Google, now leads Apple's "Foundation Models" team, which focuses on massive language models.


Focus on Advanced Research

The Zurich facility's research activities are focused on developing AI models capable of evaluating textual and visual inputs with exceptional accuracy and efficiency. By utilising advanced machine learning algorithms, Apple hopes to provide its devices and services with the ability to grasp and evaluate complex data sources, including text and photos, and generate intelligent outputs suited to user demands.

This strategic focus on AI research aligns with Apple's mission of incorporating the latest innovations into its products and services to provide unsurpassed performance and usefulness. By investing in advanced research efforts, Apple hopes to position itself at the forefront of AI innovation, speeding the creation of next-generation intelligent systems that will influence the future of computing and human-machine interaction.


According to reports, the lab's personnel is researching the core technology powering OpenAI's AI chatbot ChatGPT and other projects that use Large Language Models (LLMs). Apple plans to create powerful AI models to process textual and visual inputs and generate outputs.

Apple's AI strategy

Due to its conservative strategy, Apple has been slower in pursuing AI than big competitors such as Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. According to Ruslan Salakhutdinov of Carnegie Mellon University, Apple's delayed debut into AI is due to a desire for complete control over its products. Salakhutdinov, the inventor of Perpetual Machines, which Apple acquired in 2016 for its work on generative AI-powered image identification, studied under Geoffrey Hinton, a well-known player in the field who left Google last year, citing worries about the hazards connected with generative AI.

Apple is expected to add AI-powered features in its next iOS 18 version for the first time. These generative AI capabilities are intended to improve Siri, Spotlight, Shortcuts, Apple Music, Messages, Health, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and other apps, purportedly by exploiting on-device LLMs. What distinguishes this research is the use of on-device Large Language Models (LLMs), which have the potential to improve the efficiency and privacy of AI-powered features dramatically. By harnessing the device's computing power, Apple hopes to create smooth and responsive AI experiences while protecting user privacy and data security.

This strategic step demonstrates Apple's commitment to using AI to improve user experiences and open up new possibilities across its ecosystem of devices and services. As the bounds of AI continue to expand, Apple is well-positioned to lead the charge in creating creative solutions that empower users and enhance the capabilities of its devices. With iOS 18, customers can anticipate a more intelligent, intuitive, and personalised experience representing Apple's unwavering commitment to excellence in AI-powered technologies.