Apple went all-in on AI after Craig Federighi experimented with Github Copilot over his Christmas break.

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As we await Apple's teased iOS 18 and other announcements at its WWDC conference next week, The Wall Street Journal has an interesting profile on changing attitudes toward AI within Apple, and how the company He became more comfortable taking risks.

In particular, it marks the moment when Apple's approach to AI changed. The report states that SVP Craig Federighi was testing Github's Copilot code completion features during the Christmas holiday break in late 2022, and came away impressed. This quickly led to an internal mandate in the software engineering group to explore and create more artificial intelligence functionality.

The Wall Street Journal article also details a bit of the history, and previous tensions between the OS software groups led by Federighi and the work being done by the AI ​​and Machine Learning division led by John Giannandrea.

Due to cultural conflicts and indecisiveness over deadlines, the software group and the AI ​​team struggled to coordinate their work. The software group will simultaneously develop its own image and video recognition tools, as it finds it easier to work independently. Giannandrea's work was halted by limited access to computing resources.

These organizational conflicts appear to be talking about events before 2022. Giannandrea and Federighi seem to be more closely linked now. Apple's executive team also seems more willing to be close to LLM technology and to take risks with LLM technology, even if it means that sometimes the technology misfires and gives the wrong answer.

We will see the fruits of their labor very soon. Apple is expected to introduce AI in a new round of its operating system releases, which will be officially announced on Monday. Features include a dramatically upgraded conversational Siri (with more Assistant features to arrive next year), automated message and notification summaries, AI-enhanced instant replies to messages and emails, system-wide audio transcription services Deep integration, upgraded Spotlight search, will be included. Creative AI photo editing, AI-assisted document creation in Pages, and more.

The company is also expected to unveil rich AI-powered auto-completion for Xcode, bringing full circle back to what reportedly made Federighi seriously prioritize these efforts in the first place. Affected.

A big question mark is how Apple will balance the appeal of the new features with its privacy standards. The company is expected to use a combination of on-device technology, AI running in its cloud in a virtual 'black box', and a partnership with OpenAI for a chatbot experience like ChatGPT. A multi-pronged strategy will be unveiled. Device compatibility, and whether users will have to pay a subscription to use all or some of these features, is still unclear.

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