Apple’s first attempt at AI is Apple Intelligence

Apple is going all in on AI in the most Apple way possible. At WWDC, the company’s annual conference for developers, the company revealed Apple Intelligence, an Apple-branded version of AI that is more focused on infusing its software with the technology and upgrading existing apps to make them more useful. Apple Intelligence will be powered both by Apple’s homegrown tech as well as a partnership with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, Apple announced.

One of Apple’s biggest AI upgrades is coming to Siri. The company’s built-in voice assistant will now be powered by large language models, the underlying tech that powers all modern-day generative AI. Siri, which has languished over the years, is set to be a lot more useful by being able to interact more closely with Apple’s operating systems and apps. You can, for instance, ask Siri to give you a summary of a news article, delete an email, or edit a photo. The assistant will also be able to take more than 100 actions based on your activity and device such as finding photos of a specific person wearing certain kind of clothing from your photo library, and extracting personal information from a picture of your ID, for instance, to automatically fill it in forms online. You can also type your question into Siri instead of using your voice.

On supported devices, Apple Intelligence will be able to quickly summarize web pages in Safari, a feature that already exists on rival web browsers like Arc. You’ll also be able to use Apple Intelligence to quickly catch up on priority notifications. And just like Gmail and Outlook, your devices will be able create fleshed out responses to emails and text messages on your behalf.

Thanks to its partnership with OpenAI, Apple is baking in GPT-4o, the company’s newest large language model across the system including in Siri. This means that features like the ability to generate text or ask questions of Siri using pictures can now be handled by GPT-4o instead of just Apple Intelligence.

Apple’s AI updates are a long time coming. The technology has shaken up Silicon Valley ever since OpenAI launched ChatGPT around the end of 2022. Since then, Apple’s rivals like Google, Samsung and Microsoft, as well as companies like Meta have raced to integrate AI features in all their primary products. Last month, Google announced that AI would be a cornerstone of the next version of Android and made major AI-powered changes to its search engine. Samsung, Apple’s primary smartphone competitor, added AI features to its phones earlier this year that can translate calls in real time and edit photos. Microsoft, too, unveiled AI-powered Copilot PCs, aimed at infusing Windows with AI features that include live captioning, image editing, and beefing up systemwide search.

This is a developing story…

Catch up here for all the news out of Apple’s WWDC 2024.

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