AI to Apple Intelligence—Understanding Apple WWDC AI Updates

Siri is smarter and more aware than ever before, and she has OpenAI to thank for some of her enhanced capabilities.

The Apple WWDC AI updates have landed and the company finally appears on track to catch up with its top competitors. Calling the Apple AI innovations “Apple Intelligence,” the company has announced a slew of features that unfortunately won’t even benefit all of its existing users—more on that later. The company also formally confirmed its collaboration with ChatGPT, a fact that has Elon Musk losing his cool and threatening to ban Apple devices at his company, claiming it would be a “security violation.” The unexpected rage aside, most of Apple’s WWDC 2024 AI news has been positively received by the company’s actual target audience.

Image: Apple AI priority feature

Apple WWDC AI Updates—Presenting “Apple Intelligence”

Apple Intelligence is a pretty cheesy name for the expansive potential of what the company is trying to do with AI, but some still question whether the company is fully exploring the resources they have. Musk and the others who are scoffing at the decision to partner with OpenAI do have a point—why, despite the evidence of successful AI research of their own in the past, has the company not been able to build its artificial intelligence up on its own to where it is truly Apple’s Intelligence?

What Musk’s outburst is missing is that not all of Apple’s AI innovations appear to be powered by ChatGPT, nor does it seem to integrate it on a software level where every AI element requires outside help. Apple does not make it very clear just how much of it is its own intelligence considering even systemwide writing tools do rely on ChatGPT for content generation, but it appears that is the majority of the chatbot’s integration—in generating content on different platforms when prompted.

To Apple’s credit, instead of shying away from the fact, the company openly acknowledged that it needed help with keeping pace with competitors. The decision to sign a deal with OpenAI to incorporate elements of ChatGPT must have been a hard one, but instead of putting off Siri’s generative AI improvements any longer, the company has leaped into whatever is possible with the level of AI they have access to today, which is evident from the Apple WWDC AI updates.

First and Most Importantly, Siri Updates from WWDC

The collaboration with OpenAI is only one part of the company’s game plan, but it has generated the most conversation from Apple; ‘s WWDC AI updates. With a plan to allow Siri to “tap into external models,” Siri will ask users if they want to share their questions with ChatGPT. Without having to pay for an additional subscription or create another GPT account, users can opt in to using the ML prowess that OpenAI has been developing these last few years. The Siri AI improvements are not making Siri inherently smarter as of now, borrowing some brain power from existing AI models, the list of which is expected to increase over time.

According to the Siri updates from WWDC, the integration will come later this year to iOS 18, macOS, and iPadOS 18, so you should be able to benefit from it regardless of which device category you’re more familiar with. If you’re wondering what else the assistant can do, you’ll be glad to know the improved answering capabilities aren’t the only improvements coming to Siri.

Siri Gains Improved Integrations

According to the Apple WWDC AI updates, Siri is going to be better integrated into the system and its many tools more efficiently. Siri can be used to text better with improved prompts or share resources, like an Apple News story, more easily with your contacts. Siri will also become better at scanning your device and looking for relevant information that you need pulled up, integrating with third-party apps much more efficiently. The Siri updates from WWDC mention “onscreen awareness,” which means the assistant will soon be able to interpret the context of your request more proficiently.

And if you like some visual details, a new glowing light around your screen will signal Siri’s activation which is a fun little addition to Siri that doesn’t have to do with AI.

Language Skill Boosts—Apple WWDC AI Updates

Similar to all the “suggested reply” features in emails and changing the tone of a message, features we’ve seen from Microsoft and other tech giants, Apple Intelligence will make life easier when it comes to writing. Available across both system and third-party apps, you should have an easier time drafting a cover letter or replying to business emails, proofreading the content, and rewording ensuring it conveys your sentiments perfectly. The summarize feature should make it easier to parse through your inbox and determine what requires your attention.

The mail inbox should be better at organizing your emails according to priority, putting what’s important on top. Similarly, Apple device notifications will also be organized better to show you what you need to see first, summarizing your information to give you quick updates at a glance. Need your lecture notes summarized or require your contractor’s elaborate explanatory call condensed into a note you can share with your partner? Your notes app will help with summaries and so will your recorded calls, neatly transcribed into a call briefing for you to refer to later. These Apple AI innovations focus heavily on the “little things.”

Image Generation With Apple

If there’s one thing that the popularity of AI image generations and personalized avatars has taught us, it’s that people love spending time creating images without actually having to pick up a pencil. Announced with the Apple WWDC AI updates, the Image Playground will allow users to create images in three distinct styles: animation, illustration, or sketch. Apart from having a dedicated app for this, the tool will be included within apps as well, so you can create and ship off an image promptly mid-conversation. Adding diagrams to your notes has never been easier.

Not only will you be able to generate images, but you can also use images of your loved ones to customize them into a new art piece. Now we are a little wary of just how this will be used but we’re sure the company has thought ahead to put some checks into place to prevent misuse.

The image generation capabilities have also been extended to the creation of emojis. You can create an emoji of a friend and with a few quick prompts, you can just as easily generate a new emoji to suit the tone of your conversation with a friend. Never again will you have to complain about the wrong emojis being introduced to iOS when you can just create what you want.

Image: Apple Intelligence Memory maker

From Image Search to Making Memories, Everything is Easier with the Apple AI Innovations

The Apple WWDC AI updates also include improved image editing and an image search feature that will sift through your gallery to find images that match the prompt you provide. Similarly, you can also create a memory movie through the advanced understanding showcased by the AI, submitting a prompt and allowing the tool to create a collage of memories, paired with appropriate music suggestions.

Siri’s AI improvements and all of the other Apple WWDC 2024 AI news sound exciting to some and boring to others, but there’s one major issue here. A lot of the Apple Intelligence elements require on-device support and that is available only with the most recent devices.

According to Apple“Some features, software platforms, and additional languages will come over the course of the next year. Apple Intelligence will be available on iPhone 15 ProiPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later, with Siri and device language set to U.S. English.” Users of older iPhones may not benefit from these Apple WWDC AI updates in any significant way, which is perhaps the biggest caveat about all the recent updates. Were you excited to try Apple Intelligence out? That’s just too bad because the features may be free but you need to invest in an iPhone 15 Pro first to try it out.


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