Apple unveils ‘Apple Intelligence’ AI features in partnership with OpenAI

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Apple on Monday unveiled “Apple Intelligence,” its suite of new AI features for its coveted devices, including a partnership with OpenAI, as it seeks to catch up to rivals racing ahead on adopting the white hot technology.

For months, pressure has been on Apple to persuade doubters on its AI strategy, after Microsoft and Google have rolled out products in rapid-fire succession.

But this latest move will take the experience of Apple products “to new heights,” chief executive Tim Cook said as he opened an annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the tech giant’s headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino, California.

To that end, Apple has partnered with OpenAI, which ushered in a new era for generative artificial intelligence in 2022 with the arrival of ChatGPT.

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OpenAI was “very happy to be partnering with apple to integrate chatgpt into their devices later this year! think you will really like it,” posted the company’s chief Sam Altman on social media.

Apple Intelligence will also be added to a new version of the iOS 18 operating system, similarly unveiled Monday at the week-long conference.

Apple executives stressed privacy safeguards have been built into Apple Intelligence to make its Siri digital assistant and other products smarter, while not pilfering user data.

The big challenge for Apple has been how to infuse ChatGPT-style AI -- which voraciously feeds off data -- into its products without weakening its heavily promoted user privacy and security, according to analysts.

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 draws on your personal context to give you intelligence that’s most helpful and relevant for you, and it protects your privacy at every step.”

In particular, Apple Intelligence will enable users to create their own emojis based on a description in everyday language, or to generate brief summaries of e-mails in the mailbox.

Users will be able to make their requests to Siri in writing or orally.

The AI enhancements also included integrating ChatGPT with operating system models later this year, Federighi said.

“It sounds like it’s Apple -- then if it needs ChatGPT, it offers it to you,” Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart said.

“The implementation is what is special here.”

Silicon Valley is convinced that generative AI will profoundly change how users interact with smartphones and computers, but the technology is still in its early stages and the benefits not yet entirely clear.

The announcements at the WWDC set the stage for an expected iPhone 16 release later in the year, and open the door to “a renaissance of growth” for the company, said Wedbush Securities senior analyst Daniel Ives.

Cook had foreshadowed his commitment to AI by putting more powerful and AI-ready chips on iPad and MacBook releases earlier this year.

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