It’s showtime for Apple, and we’re expecting news on its AI plans and a big partnership

It’s showtime for Apple, and we’re expecting news on its AI plans and a big partnership
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Welcome back! Despite last summer’s OceanGate tragedy, someone else wants to take a submersible to the Titanic. Meet billionaire thrill-seeker Larry Connor.

In today’s big story, we’re giving a preview of what to expect at Apple’s annual event. And be sure to follow along with our live blog.

What’s on deck:

  • Markets: We’re close to a soft landing, but the US economy needs to thread the needle or risk a bumpy ride.
  • Tech: Sam Altman might be the ultimate personality hire.
  • Business: No, Gen Z, your manager is not your therapist.

But first, showtime for Apple.


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The big story

Apple’s AI unveiling

Apple CEO Tim Cook below the Apple logo.
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Worldwide Developers Conference in 2023.

Apple kicks off its big event today from a unique spot: behind.

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is Apple’s annual showcase for splashy announcements about cutting-edge tech.

But when CEO Tim Cook takes the stage for his keynote address this afternoon, it’ll be about catching up with Apple’s fellow Big Tech peers. The event is expected to be Apple’s long-awaited unveiling of its AI strategy, writes Business Insider’s Jordan Hart.

(You can follow along with our live blog here. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.)

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and OpenAI have all placed their proverbial flags in the AI ground over the past month. But Apple has remained noticeably quiet on AI, much to investors’ chagrin.

All signs point to Apple confirming the rumors of an OpenAI partnership. It wouldn’t be the first time Apple announced a deal with a fellow tech company that has massive implications, writes BI’s Hasan Chowdhury.

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In 2005, Apple and Google struck a deal to make the latter’s search engine the default option on Apple’s Safari browser. Two years later, Apple introduced the iPhone with Google as the core search tool.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Sam Altman and Tim Cook overlapping

It’s unclear if the expected Apple-OpenAI partnership will last as long as Apple’s nearly two-decade relationship with Google.

As beneficial as OpenAI is for Apple, it doesn’t come without risks. The startup and CEO Sam Altman are, to put it mildly, in the midst of some chaos.

OpenAI has faced criticism over transparency and safety protocols, and people have started questioning Altman’s true motivations. Apple usually tries to avoid that type of drama. Remember how quickly it pulled that iPad ad?

Further complicating matters is that OpenAI’s biggest backer happens to be a key rival of Apple: Microsoft.

The fellow tech giant reportedly has reservations about the Apple-OpenAI tie-up. CEO Satya Nadella met with Altman to discuss how the deal might impact his company’s AI plans involving the startup, The Information reported.

Apple likely won’t be interested in putting all its AI eggs in one basket anyway. As successful as the partnership with Google has been, it didn’t come cheap. And more importantly, it led to plenty of regulatory attention Apple would probably like to avoid this time around.


News brief

Your Monday headline catchup

A quick recap of the top news from over the weekend:

  • Far-right, nationalist parties gain strong support in European Parliament election.
  • South Africa could be the first-ever country to provide a no-strings-attached universal basic income.
  • Elon Musk is pitching a daring idea to Tesla shareholders: A vote for Musk is a ticket to the ‘Muskonomy’.
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3 things in markets

A bald eagle holding an American flag screwdriver, unscrewing a screw in a globe with a view of Europe
  1. The final stretch of a soft landing for the US won’t be easy. The European Central Bank’s decision to cut rates last week puts the US in a tricky spot. A delay from the Fed in cutting rates could mean foreign money floods the economy, making the central bank’s job even harder.
  2. Trying to make sense of the latest GameStop meme madness. The company has already turned its latest rally into a $1 billion windfall by selling shares. Now it could make even more by selling additional shares, which has further jolted the stock. Meanwhile, Roaring Kitty’s livestream didn’t help things.
  3. Election results are serving up major stock-market surprises. It’s the year of the election around the world, and wins for leaders in India and Mexico sent their respective country’s stocks tumbling. Meanwhile, European stocks opened lower today after far-right, nationalist parties saw major wins.

3 things in tech

sam with gold megaphone
  1. Introducing the ultimate personality hire: Sam Altman. “Personality hires” contribute to a company with their soft skills, and arguably make for a healthy workplace. In AI, we can stretch that definition to include people who are really good at hyping up the product — and right now, Altman is AI’s greatest hype man.
  2. Advertisers don’t want to use Grok. X employees have been pushing advertisers to use Grok, the platform’s sarcastic, not “woke” AI chatbot. The problem? Advertisers really aren’t interested.
  3. Nvidia’s key supplier seems to want in on its hype. Nvidia’s market value hit $3 trillion last week after another blowout earnings report. Now, its main chip supplier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, is hinting at raising prices.

3 things in business

My credit card is tempting me to commit fraud.
  1. “Friendly” fraud is on the rise. Credit cards offer the ability to dispute a transaction to get a refund. But some customers, accidentally or intentionally, are abusing the perk. They’re claiming legitimate transactions were fraudulent — and, in the process, they’re engaging in first-party fraud themselves.
  2. Your manager is not your therapist. Gen Z is more open to talking about their mental health, sometimes doing so at the office. And while destigmatizing mental illness is important, a workplace overly focused on mental health isn’t always a recipe for better mental-health outcomes.
  3. Amazon withdrew from huge investment in the eleventh hour. Amazon made a last-minute decision to not invest in Figure, an AI-robots startup, earlier this year, two investors told BI. A funding round valued the startup at $2.6 billion, and sources said Amazon committed to $50 million at one point.
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In other news

  • Your Uber Eats orders may be more likely to get stuck in NYC traffic now.
  • See the private island outside NYC that a hedge fund exec is listing for $35 million.
  • The 20 best restaurants in the world, ranked.
  • Sports Illustrated’s ex-publisher wants $200 million from Authentic Brands Group, saying it stole website and employees.
  • An AI boom and market rebound helped create 500,000 new millionaires in the US last year.

What’s happening today

  • Apple’s Annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. George Glover, reporter, in London. Annie Smith, associate producer, in London.

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