During an Apple product launch the night before Halloween, Apple CEO Tim Cook – wearing all black at its Cupertino, California-based headquarters – introduced the next phase of Mac computers which hint at a more AI- driven future.
The focus of the event, which featured the tagline “scary fast,” was Apple’s new custom-made M3 chips, the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Pro Max. These processors promise faster computing and graphics and longer-lasting battery life, but can also better support advancements with artificial intelligence because they’re made with 3 nanometer technology, according to the company. The chips will ship with Apple’s latest MacBook Pro and iMac lineup.
“They are the most advanced chips ever created for a personal computer,” Cook said. “This deep integration is something only Apple can deliver, and we never stop innovating.”
At a time companies such as Microsoft, Google and Meta have openly discussed their plans for an AI future, Apple has been less forthcoming. (It has, however, reportedly been working on its own generative AI tools to rival ChatGPT). Some analysts believe Apple’s vision for how it can support work in the AI field and harness the power of its new chip were evident from the Halloween event.
“Apple may not wax eloquent about AI but it knows very well that the use cases for this technology are booming and that the development work will require unprecedented computing power,” said Dipanjan Chatterjee, an analyst at Forrester. “That’s a huge emerging opportunity, and Apple wants a piece of that pie.”
‘So, how hard can it be?’
During the presentation, Apple showed how researchers can conduct an analysis on an M3 device for complex tasks such as DNA/RNA sequencing, which could help detect early-stage cancers or help prevent pandemics, from anywhere in the world. It also touted a promo video that demonstrated how the Mac can be used to do anything from analyzing ECG signals to mapping the structure of the galaxies. “It’s hard work,” one actor in the video says. “But you’re on a Mac,” says another. “So how hard can it be?”