Apple brings ChatGPT to iPhones in AI overhaul



Apple is set to enhance its Siri voice assistant and operating systems with OpenAI’s ChatGPT as it strives to keep up in the competitive AI landscape.

The iPhone manufacturer unveiled the Siri overhaul along with several new features at its annual developers conference on Monday. This is part of a new personalized AI system called “Apple Intelligence,” designed to make navigating Apple devices more user-friendly. Updates to its iPhone and Mac operating systems will enable access to ChatGPT through a collaboration with developer OpenAI. ChatGPT will also enhance other tools, including text and content generation. The test version will be available in the autumn.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, stated that this development would elevate the company’s products to new levels as he opened the Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. However, the market reaction was lukewarm, with Apple’s share price dropping 1.91% on the day of the announcement.

What is ‘Apple Intelligence’?

Ben Wood, chief analyst at research firm CCS Insight, noted that while Apple’s new personal AI system “should help placate nervous investors,” its ChatGPT integration might expose deeper issues for the company. “Apple Intelligence” is not a standalone product or app. It will be integrated into every app and Apple product, whether it’s a writing assistant refining your message drafts or your calendar showing you the best route to your next appointment. In this way, it is similar to Microsoft’s AI assistant Copilot, but you won’t have to pay extra to use it.

Siri, which Apple acquired in 2010, has been updated with a new interface and a more conversational approach to help users navigate their devices and apps more efficiently. “Arguably, this sees Apple admitting its limitations given ChatGPT will step in where Siri can no longer assist a user,” Wood told the BBC.

Apple displayed screenshots of iPhones with Siri asking whether it can use ChatGPT to find answers to a question.

Apple emphasized the security of Apple Intelligence during Monday’s keynote. Some processing will be done on the device itself, while larger tasks requiring more power will be handled in the cloud, but no data will be stored there. This is crucial for customers who pay premium prices for Apple’s privacy assurances. The system “puts powerful generative models right at the core of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac,” said Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi. “It leverages your personal context to provide the most helpful and relevant intelligence for you, while protecting your privacy at every step.”

What does the OpenAI and Apple partnership mean?

Apple’s decision to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology was widely anticipated but is unusual for a company that tightly controls its own products. Recently, Google and Microsoft have faced scrutiny over errors made by their AI products, with Google retracting a new feature in May after erroneous answers went viral.

For years, Apple has refused to allow its customers to download apps outside of the App Store for security reasons and would not permit any web browser other than its own Safari. This changed only due to EU legislation.

Does this indicate that even Apple cannot currently compete with ChatGPT? If so, it highlights the significant power of the AI giant OpenAI. The firm mentioned future integrations with other products but did not specify any.