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Apple may finally beef up Siri with AI smarts next year

As the world has been taken over by generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT, Apple has stayed almost entirely out of the game. That could all change soon, though, as a new report claims the company is about to bring its own AI — dubbed “Apple GPT” — to a massive range of products and services.

That’s all according to reporter Mark Gurman, who has a strong track record when it comes to Apple leaks and rumors. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman alleges that “Apple executives were caught off guard by the industry’s sudden AI fever and have been scrambling since late last year to make up for lost time.”

The Siri activation animation on an iPhone running iOS 14.
Digital Trends

To do that, Apple plans to infuse generative AI smarts into a wide range of its existing apps. For example, Siri is set for a major overhaul that will see it “deeply implement” content-generating AI, Gurman believes. If Apple can pull it off, it could be the jumpstart Siri needs to catch up with rival services from Google and Amazon.

Elsewhere, Gurman’s report states that generative AI could make its way into apps like Pages, Keynote, Apple Music, and Xcode, where it could automatically create content like playlists, slide decks, and app code. It might also be woven deeply into Apple’s operating systems, including iOS 18, where “the new features should improve how both Siri and the Messages app can field questions and auto-complete sentences.”

Internal debates and delays

A laptop screen shows the home page for ChatGPT, OpenAI's artificial intelligence chatbot.
Rolf van Root / Unsplash

All of these improvements will be powered by a large language model called Ajax, which Apple has been testing in its own Apple GPT chatbot. Apple has allegedly been developing this for years, so it could be close to launch.

But when exactly will we see all this AI wizardry? Well, right now that’s uncertain. Gurman says the improved Siri “could be ready as soon as next year, but there are still concerns about the technology and it may take longer for Apple’s AI features to spread across its product line.”

Apple’s approach to user privacy could be one reason for the delay. According to Gurman, there’s debate within Apple over whether to make the upcoming AI features rely on the cloud or on-device processing. The latter would be better for user privacy but could stymy more advanced features, says Gurman, and the journalist thinks Apple may opt for a mixed approach.

While it’s clear that Apple is attempting to play catch-up with its rivals, it still has a long way to go before its AI efforts make it a serious competitor. The next few years will be vital for Tim Cook’s company, and it will be fascinating to see whether it can close the gap with the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard.

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