Revolutionising Siri: Apple's 'Apple Intelligence' set to dominate AI
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Revolutionising Siri: Apple’s ‘Apple Intelligence’ set to dominate AI

Revolutionising Siri: Apple’s ‘Apple Intelligence’ set to dominate AI

Apple’s WWDC revealed some of the trends around AI, that will shape the embedding of the tech, in future devices

Gulf Business
Appled developes Open AI, Ajax

Apple, recently, concluded its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The WWDC is an annual feature in the global tech calendar, and is where Apple announces many of the new developments that will be released in its various operating systems, from iPhone to iPad to Mac.

While the event is focused on developers, it also provides an insight into the future capabilities that will impact Apple consumers.

Among some of the highlights that excited Apple users was the announcement of new notes and maths function capabilities, which are very cool, and the availability of a calculator for the iPad got the loudest applause. Apple, additionally, introduced the ability to align icons on the home screen, much like Android devices have allowed, for many years now.

Also, Apple finally (and quietly) announced the adoption of RCS for its messaging, allowing for greater cross-platform communications capabilities with non-Apple devices.

AI and Apple

However, with recent tie-ups between Microsoft and OpenAI, and the launch of xAi by Elon Musk, everyone was quite interested in Apple’s offering in the artificial intelligence (AI) area. The 2024 WWDC saw Apple announce the launch of “Apple Intelligence”.

Initially, this looked like a refresh of Siri, which was announced 13 years ago but hasn’t really progressed greatly. Siri, for many, is nothing more than a glorified kitchen timer.

However, with the announcement of Apple Intelligence, this looks to change, and may well put Apple ahead of everyone as far as device usage of AI is concerned.

Let’s focus on a few key areas of differentiation:

Deep System integration: Apple is famous for its walled garden approach, where once you’re inside, it’s very difficult to leave as all systems work nicely together. Apple Intelligence symbolises another step in this direction, where it will know more about you than any other system could possibly do. Of course, all the native applications for Apple are integrated here, from photos to mail, Safari, and so on.

But there’s also the opportunity for third-party developers to integrate their applications as well. This level of integration allows for far greater, personalised responses and actioning of user intentions. Few other companies could possibly hope to do this, with the exception of Google.

Privacy: Apple has made privacy a key component of its entire branding. It says it wants to ensure that people feel safe using their devices and that their data is not being shared, harvested, or used to train AI models. Apple has crafted this position over many years, and it was essential for them to maintain this stance when it came to the adoption of AI as well.

The privacy stance reflects user concerns around data usage, which is regularly making headlines as organisations need vast amounts of data to train their language models. Apple, couldn’t afford to take this approach and it, hence, guarantees that its user data is secure, and that the majority of requests are processed locally on the device.

It says, with its developer APIs, the company will securely pass only relevant information to third-party applications, ensuring that privacy is maintained.

OpenAI partnership: Apple announced a partnership with OpenAI. As they describe it, when you need to and are happy to communicate with express permission with OpenAI, it will share data with their online services providing the power of, perhaps, the most capable large language model. This partnership will also allow people who subscribe to ChatGPT to use the full capabilities of that service, whilst also maintaining some level of security for their private data.

Read: Apple unveils partnership with OpenAI at WWDC 2024

This announcement is a clear response to the various AI features announced by Google in their recent developer conference.

While the capabilities are yet to be fully released and will be launched throughout this year and with the launch of the new iPhone, most likely in September, it will be very interesting to see what this capability will bring when in the wild.

Not everyone welcomed the announcement, however. Elon Musk posted on X that they would ban Apple devices from his companies as it poses an ‘unacceptable security risk.’ However, initial impressions are largely positive.

We won’t know the full capability of Apple Intelligence until we actually get to experiment with it ourselves and when the public beta for iOS 18 is released.

However, this marks a significant change in AI capabilities and offers new ways to integrate them into everyday lives. The tight integration of hardware and AI is something that, while never first to the party, Apple was always going to become a significant player in.

The author, Damian Hehir, is the co-founder and CEO of Capytech.

Read: Apple turns to third parties for ‘buy now, pay later’ after sunsetting product

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