Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed the company's intention to increase hiring in the UK, despite prevalent layoffs in the tech industry.
He mentioned the company's interest in expanding their artificial intelligence (AI) team. Just a day prior, Fortnite's developer, Epic Games, revealed a 16% workforce reduction.
Since 2022, major companies like Amazon, Meta, Google, and Microsoft have eliminated tens of thousands of positions. In May, Mr. Cook criticized the tech industry's layoff trend, referring to it as a "last resort."
When questioned by the PA news agency regarding AI and job opportunities in the UK, he responded, "We are recruiting in that domain, and I anticipate an increase in [investment]."
Companies are heavily investing in AI. For instance, on Monday, Amazon revealed a commitment of up to $4 billion (£3.3 billion) in the San Francisco-based AI company, Anthropic.
This came after Microsoft's substantial investment in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, in January. Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan described Apple's move as "a further endorsement of our rapidly growing tech industry."
"Apple's continued investment showcases our global stature as a leading force in AI and technology," she posted on X, the microblogging platform previously named Twitter.
Antony Walker, the deputy head of techUK, remarked, "Given AI's transformative impact, we anticipate a significant rise in employee numbers in AI enterprises in the upcoming years."
However, he further commented, "Predicting the skill requirements for the future AI-driven economy is challenging. It's imperative that businesses and the government collaborate on a strategic plan emphasizing digital skill development and continuous learning."
On a related note, Tim Pullan, the CEO of ThoughtRiver, a firm offering AI solutions for legal practitioners, expressed his belief that the world is on the cusp of "an AI-fueled transformation."
He emphasized, "Ensuring the UK leads this transformation is crucial."
"We possess immense potential as a nation to ascend as an AI heavyweight. I firmly believe this marks the beginning of a trend where numerous companies will seek the UK's profound tech knowledge, resulting in the UK reaping the rewards of increased investment and innovation," he elaborated.
Mr. Cook highlighted that AI powers many notable functionalities on Apple devices. This includes software that identifies if someone has fallen or experienced a crash, along with more ubiquitous features like predictive typing.
"AI is deeply integrated into our products, and we're also delving into generative AI research. There's a lot underway," he commented.
Generative AI, which crafts media from text prompts, remains a significant investment focus for major companies, even amidst prevailing worries about its implications for copyright and ownership.
The concern arises as this software "learns" by processing vast quantities of data, typically sourced from the internet, potentially utilizing copyrighted material without permission.
This has resulted in notable lawsuits in the US, with authors like George RR Martin and John Grisham taking legal action against OpenAI, alleging that their books were employed to train the system.
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