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Hello Siri! Let's talk about how Apple is giving it an AI makeover.| GuyWhoKnowsThings


Every June, Apple unveils its newest software features for the iPhone at its futuristic Silicon Valley campus. But at its annual developer conference on Monday, the company will highlight a feature that's not new: siriyour talking assistant, which has been around for over a decade.

What will be different this time is the technology that powers Siri: generative artificial intelligence.

In recent months, Adrian Perica, Apple's vice president of corporate development, has helped spearhead an effort to bring generative AI to the masses, said two people with knowledge of the work, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the effort.

Perica and his colleagues have spoken to leading AI companies, including Google and OpenAI, looking for a partner to help Apple deliver generative AI across its business. Apple recently reached a deal with OpenAI, which makes the ChatGPT chatbot, to bring its technology to the iPhone, two people familiar with the deal said. It was still in talks with Google last week, two people familiar with the talks said.

That has helped create a more conversational and versatile version of Siri, which will be shown off Monday, three people familiar with the company said. Siri will be powered by a generative AI system developed by Apple, allowing the talking assistant to chat instead of simply answering one question at a time. Apple will market its new AI capabilities as Apple Intelligence, a person familiar with the marketing plan said.

Apple, OpenAI and Google declined to comment. Apple's deal with OpenAI was previously reported by Information and Bloombergwhich also reported the name of Apple's AI system.

Apple's move toward generative AI will test whether the company can re-enter a new market and redefine it. While Apple didn't make the first digital music player, smartphone or smartwatch, it transformed those categories with the iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch. Now, after two years of seeing Microsoft, Meta, Google and Samsung integrate generative AI into their products, Apple is moving from observer to potential challenger.

Integrating generative AI into iPhones will also be a key moment for the technology, which can answer questions, create images and write software code. Apple will expand the reach of generative AI to more than one billion users and determine how useful it is to everyday iPhone customers.

To date, the promise of the technology has been undermined by its failures. Google has introduced and reduced generative AI search capabilities that recommended people eat stoneswhile Microsoft has been criticized for security vulnerabilities of a personal computer that uses AI to record every second of activity.

“We're still figuring out AI because it's so complicated,” said Carolina Milanesi, president of Creative Strategies, a technology research firm. “Apple is pretty conservative on everything, so I don't know if they will surprise people. But they have to do this because this is how we interact with technology in the future.”

Wall Street investors, not traditional consumers, are one of the main reasons Apple is jumping into AI. The technology has elevated the values ​​of Microsoft, a big player in generative AI, and NVIDIA, which sells AI chips. In January, Microsoft dethroned apple as the most valuable public technology company in the world.

The market shakeup came as Apple remained silent on AI. The company has a policy of not sharing future product plans, but when its stock position fell, Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, broke protocol and told Wall Street analysts on a call in May that he would soon introduce product offerings. Generative AI.

Apple's stock price has recovered since Cook made that commitment. Through Friday, Apple shares had risen 6 percent this year, less than Microsoft's 14 percent gain and Nvidia's 151 percent jump.

(The New York Times has defendant OpenAI and Microsoft on the use of copyrighted articles related to AI systems).

Apple has long been under pressure to revamp Siri, which wowed people when it launched in 2011 but then didn't change much over time. The talking assistant's shortcomings were finally exposed by comedian Larry David during the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in a scene in which yelled at Siri as he repeatedly provided wrong addresses.

Enter OpenAI, which has positioned itself at the forefront of the generative AI movement with ChatGPT. Apple plans to complement what OpenAI offers with technology that was developed internally to perform selected iPhone tasks. Your system will help Siri set timers, create calendar appointments, and summarize text messages.

The company also plans to promote its revamped Siri as more private than rival AI services because it will process many requests on iPhones rather than remotely in data centers. Apple's focus on privacy proved to be a sticking point during negotiations with OpenAI and Google because it wanted to limit the data iPhone partners received, said a person familiar with the negotiations.

Apple may look to offer the improved Siri as a service, analysts said. According to Morgan Stanley, by charging $5 a month to use the talking assistant, the company could generate between $4 billion and $8 billion in annual sales.

Although a latecomer to the generative AI race, Apple has pursued the idea of ​​a digital personal assistant for about 40 years.

In 1987, he published a concept video showing a professor talking to an assistant called Knowledge Navigator, who could manage his calendar and consult his class notes. The video helped inspire a group of AI researchers in SRI Internationalan independent research laboratory, to create a virtual assistant called Siri in 2008.

In 2010, Apple bought the technology for 200 million dollars. The company launched Siri a year later on the iPhone, demonstrating its ability to provide the time in Paris or obtain a list of 14 Greek restaurants.

“We launched a user interface paradigm that no one has really improved on,” said Tom Gruber, a Siri co-founder who worked at Apple until 2018. “But we still don't have a personal AI, an assistant that knows my life. With generative AI, it is now feasible.”

Cade Metz and Brian X. Chen contributed reports.


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