Apple brings ChatGPT to iPhones and Siri in AI overhaul

image caption, Apple boss Tim Cook pictured on stage at WWDC 2024

  • the author, Zoe Kleinman
  • the role, Technology Editor
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Apple will boost its Siri voice assistant and operating systems with OpenAI's ChatGPT as it looks to get ahead in the AI ​​race.

The iPhone maker announced the Siri makeover along with several other new features at its annual developers show on Monday.

It's part of a new personalization AI system — called “Apple Intelligence” — that aims to give users a way to more easily navigate Apple devices.

Updates to its iPhone and Mac operating systems will allow access to ChatGPT through a partnership with developer OpenAI.

ChatGPT can also be used to enhance other tools, including text and content generation. The test version will be available in the fall.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the move would take his company's products to “new heights” as he kicked off the Worldwide Developers Conference at the tech giant's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The announcement was not welcomed by everyone. Tesla and Twitter/X owner Elon Musk threatened to ban iPhones from their companies over “data security” concerns.

“Apple has no idea what's actually going on when they give your data to OpenAI,” Mr. Musk said on X. “They're selling you down the river.”

Apple is under pressure to introduce new AI features into its products as competitors rapidly adopt the technology.

Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, said Apple's new personal AI system “should help reassure jittery investors,” adding that its ChatGPT integration could show up for the firm. Can cause deep problems.

“It means that Apple is recognizing its limitations because ChatGPT will start at a point where Siri will no longer be able to help a user,” he told the BBC.

Apple has been largely absent in the avalanche of AI products released by tech firms in recent months.

Mr. Cook told investors in 2023 that the company would approach tech with caution. On Monday, those plans finally came to light.

What is 'Apple Intelligence'?

“Apple Intelligence” is not a product or an app in its own right.

It will become part of every app and Apple product users use – whether it's a writing assistant improving your message drafts or your diary being able to show you the best route to your next meeting.

In that sense, it's similar to Microsoft's AI assistant Copilot – but you won't have to pay extra to activate it.

Siri, the voice assistant Apple acquired in 2010, has been refreshed with a new interface and a chattier approach to help users navigate their devices and apps seamlessly.

Apple was keen to emphasize the security of Apple Intelligence during Monday's keynote.

Some processing will be done on the device itself, while larger operations requiring more power will be sent to the cloud – but no data will be stored there.

This is important for consumers who pay premium prices for Apple's privacy promises.

“The system puts powerful generative models at the heart of your iPhone, iPad and Mac,” said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.

“It draws on your personal context to provide you with the intelligence that's most helpful and relevant to you, and it protects your privacy every step of the way.”

What do OpenAI and the Apple deal mean?

Apple's decision to integrate OpenAI's ChatGPT tech was widely expected but is an unusual move for a company that guards its products so closely.

Google and Microsoft have recently faced scrutiny in recent months over mistakes in their AI products, with the search giant pulling back a new feature in May after its incorrect answers went viral.

For years Apple has refused to allow its users to download any apps outside of the App Store on the grounds that they may not be secure, and therefore no web browser other than its own Safari is allowed. will give.

This only changed when forced by EU legislation.

Is this a sign that even Apple can't compete with ChatGPT yet?

If so, that tells us a lot about the current strength of AI supergiant OpenAI.

The firm said it would integrate other products in the future, but did not name any.

Apple has announced that its mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, will go on sale in the UK on July 12. It has been available in the US since February.

Other new features announced Monday include:

  • Sending text via satellite
  • Schedule messages to be sent later
  • Using head gestures to control AirPods Pro (nod yes or no)
  • A dedicated app for passwords accessible on all devices.
  • Ability to hide certain apps or lock them behind Face ID or passcodes.
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