Today is WWDC 23 and people have speculated a lot on what Apple will be announcing. Some of the things people are looking forward to the most are an Apple AR/VR Headset, iOS 17, and macOS 14. There may be other surprises too, since Apple still manages to keep their stuff pretty secret. For me, the one thing I really hope Apple announces it’s working on is its own sort of search engine. I am not talking about a replica of the traditional search engine experiences we are used to right now. Maybe some huge enhancements to Siri…
I don’t know how all through these years Apple has never tried to build its own search engine. But if there ever was a time to do so, it would be now. I think the Microsoft collaboration with OpenAI to bring GPT-4 to Bing should be the wake up call. Bing with AI looks like the future of search. It looks like the future of how we interact with content on the internet.
Microsoft is so confident about it, that they’re baking in tools like Co-Pilot right into their operating system. Even Google, the leaders of search, appeared so shaken with these developments. Google is now ever in a rush to push their own BARD to the public, and to bring more AI tools to its suite of apps. So why shouldn’t Apple be? And what can they do to get in, and secure their future? After all aren’t they the most valuable company, and don’t they have the most cash reserves?
When one company does something so well, most times everyone else sits back and throws in the towel. I think that’s how Google Search dominated the first two decades of this millennium. They managed to put Search on every device and every browser. And everyone who came after them failed. However, we are now in a new race, and Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. This is just the turning point, and a whole new world of possibilities is about to be unlocked. There’s no going back to the old ways of doing things. How people search, discover and interact with content will forever change in the coming years. And as one of the biggest seller of phones worldwide, it is of utmost importance that Apple keeps that strong locked control of its ecosystem.
One thing about Apple, many people keep saying this, is they almost never jump in on a trend. They work behind the scenes and only ship something whenever they’re so sure about it. So maybe something is already in the works. But something cannot be in the works for too long, else it will fail. Google has talked about AI for years, but here we are in 2023 with a new company – OpenAI – dominating the field. You definitely hear of and use ChatGPT more than many of the simple AI tools Google has shipped over the years. That’s the threat of AI. And Apple needs to find a way to ensure it is not reduced to just a simple hardware company giving customers access to incredible AI tools on the web.
Having its own search engine ensures Apple better controls its long-term goals. It ensures they keep pushing their privacy-first agenda. It gives them yet another layer of control of their ecosystem. Ultimately, it gives them a safe spot in an unknown future that’s set to be very different.