Apple makes a deal to open iPhone to Generation GenAI

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At present, Siri has no understanding of context, which means it just isn’t good at engaging in more complex tasks than stating the weather or turning music on. ChatGPT lets you define numerous factors to provide much more granular information. The company could also reach similar deals with other companies to offer their takes on genAI. (Apple is thought to have been in talks with both Baidu and Google in this regard.)

Bloomberg reports three primary strands to the company’s attempts:

  • On-device genAI: Solutions that run on the device, no server required,
  • Coud-powered AI: Cloud-based intelligence similar to that provided by ChatGPT.
  • Chatbot services: A more intelligent, contextually-aware Siri. It’s possible Apple will send some or all Siri enquiries to a third party service, Bloomberg said.

What is at stake

The need to protect its iPhone kingdom is the primary motivation at Apple. The company apparently feels that the use of genAI, and intelligent agents powered by that technology, could eventually supplant both iOS and the App Store. “…it has the potential to become the primary operating system, displacing the iPhone’s iOS software,” wrote the New York Times, citing company insiders. 

Apple won’t be fully dependent on third-party AI, as it has its own solutions also in development. These include improving Siri’s ability to handle tasks it already manages, while extending its feature set with new tools the company can then introduce as being more private than other services. In part, this will be because some of the processing will take place, as we’ve anticipated, on the device itself. 

The report also confirms recent claims Apple is developing new silicon for use in data centers. The idea here will be to reduce server costs, improve energy efficiency and to bake privacy into the system in order to maintain user security.

Will WWDC be make or break for Cupertino?

It is important to note that the frequency of reports concerning Apple’s plans for AI is accelerating as we ramp toward the company’s big developer event, WWDC. This strongly suggests that Apple will introduce new components to its overall plan for AI at the show. 

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