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Apple is bringing ChatGPT to iPhone and Siri in a major AI overhaul

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Comment on the photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook is pictured on stage at WWDC 2024

  • author, Zoe Kleinman
  • Role, Technology Editor

Apple is enhancing its Siri voice assistant and operating systems with OpenAI’s ChatGPT as it seeks to catch up with artificial intelligence.

The iPhone maker announced the Siri makeover along with a number of other new features at its annual Developers Expo on Monday.

It’s part of a new personal AI system — called “Apple Intelligence” — that aims to provide users with a way to navigate Apple devices more easily.

iPhone and Mac operating system updates 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 beta version will be available in the fall.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said that this step will raise his company’s products to “new heights,” while opening the Worldwide Developers Conference at the technology giant’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

This announcement was not welcomed by everyone. Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and Twitter/X, has threatened to ban the use of iPhones in his companies over “data security.”

“Apple has no idea what actually happens once you hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river,” Musk said on X.

Apple has faced pressure to introduce new AI features into its products after the rapid rise of competitors who have embraced the technology.

“This arguably means Apple is acknowledging its limitations given that ChatGPT will start at a point where Siri is no longer able to help the user,” he told the BBC.

Apple has been largely absent from the torrent of AI products released by tech companies in recent months.

Cook told investors in 2023 that the company would handle the technology carefully. On Monday, those plans were finally put in place.

What is “Apple Intelligence”?

“Apple Intelligence” is neither a product nor an application in itself.

It will become part of every app that Apple product customers use – whether it’s a writing assistant that enhances your drafts of messages or your diary to be able to show you the best route to get to your next appointment.

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

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

Apple was keen to emphasize Apple Intelligence’s security during Monday’s keynote.

Some processing will be performed on the device itself, while larger actions that require more power will be sent to the cloud, but no data will be stored there.

This is vital for customers who pay high prices for Apple’s privacy promises.

“It draws on your personal context to provide you with the information that is most useful and relevant to you, and it protects your privacy at every step.”

What does the OpenAI and Apple deal mean?

Apple’s decision to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology was widely expected, but it’s an unusual move for a company that closely guards its products.

Google and Microsoft have recently faced scrutiny for mistakes made by their AI products in recent months, with the search giant backing away from a new feature in May after its wrong answers went viral.

For years Apple has also refused to allow its customers to download any apps outside of the App Store on the grounds that they may not be safe, and will not allow any web browser other than its own Safari for the same reason.

He only changed when he had to do so under EU legislation.

Is it a sign of recognition that even Apple can’t compete with ChatGPT at the moment?

If so, it tells us a lot about the current strength of AI giant OpenAI.

The company said it would integrate other products in the future, but did not mention any names.

Apple has announced that its Vision Pro mixed reality headset 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:

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