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With its forays into car-making kaput, Apple has reportedly set its sights on home robots — and is said to be in the early stages of developing one that follows you around the house, for some reason.

As insiders told Bloomberg, Apple's engineers have apparently been in talks behind closed doors about building a so-called "mobile robot" as one of its "next big things."

As of now, it's unclear how far along the skunk-works project is, but it comes as the company's engineers are under increasing pressure to find novel revenue streams amid its newly-sacked electric carmaking dreams.

This newfound interest in a robotic shadow also comes after reports indicated that behind the scenes, the "Apple Car" endeavor was a total shitshow. As insiders told the New York Times earlier this year, the project was "scrapped and rebooted" multiple times amid direction arguments, making the entire enterprise seem pretty well doomed from the start.

Overall, the company burned a whopping $10 billion on the project, and with no product to show for it, Apple engineers seem to be in a rat race to figure something out to help recoup those losses.

AI of It All

Apple's robotics division, as Bloomberg notes, is also said to be working in tandem with its AI and machine learning working group, which has shifted into the spotlight following the company kiboshing its EV pipe dream.

Indeed, just before news of the rumored AppleBot dropped, researchers at the tech giant published a paper about the company's new large language model (LLM) that, according to the un-peer-reviewed study, can "see" and understand the context of what it's reading on screens. Apple researchers are even claiming that the company's ReALM (Reference Resolution as Language Modeling) system is smarter than OpenAI's GPT-4 — an inclusion that clearly shows what direction the company's AI group is moving into, even as its engineers scramble to find something to put such allegedly-advanced AIs into.

Along with the follow-bot, the company's engineers are also reportedly looking into building a next-generation tabletop device with displays moved by robotics — though, if we're being honest, we can't really imagine what that would even look like, other than a robot moving a computer's screen around for some reason.

While Apple's pivot to AI is entirely unsurprising given that Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is also doing the same thing, these alleged home robots seem like a desperate attempt at relevance — or, in the worst-case scenario, a smaller-scale fiasco like the Apple Car waiting to happen.

More on AI robots: This Humanoid Robot Powered by OpenAI Is Almost Scary

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