Apple Reportedly Joining Forces With OpenAI to Shove a Chatbot into iOS 18

Apple Reportedly Joining Forces With OpenAI to Shove a Chatbot into iOS 18

According to the latest reports, Apple is preparing tounleash an AI avalanche on iPhones at its upcoming WWDC 2024. This will include some cloud-based as well as on-device AI models, but it will be through the lens of easily the most well-known and widest-reaching AI developers around today, OpenAI.

It’s only three weeks from Apple’s big developer conference, but it seems like OpenAI and Apple finally found some common ground to create some sort of AI in iOS. In his latest newsletter, Bloomberg’s Apple guru Mark Gurman reported, based on his slate of anonymous insider sources, that the Cupertino company seems like it finally inked that long-sought deal with OpenAI. Apple had also reportedly tried to court Google toward the same end, but now it seems Apple wants to bed down with the folks making GPT-4o.

According to the report, OpenAI’s tech will have direct integration with iOS 18, which seems to be a direct integration of ChatGPT with the company’s most popular product, the iPhone, and the upcoming iPhone 16.

Some of the company’s new features will use an AI developed in-house. Gurman noted Siri is going to be first up to get an AI facelift, making it more “conversational.”

Based on the most recent reports, it’s going to be a lot of what you’ve already seen elsewhere with AI article transcripts, Voice Memo synopses, and AI-based photo editing. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before from folks at Adobe and Google, with varying degrees of usability and capability. There’s no mention of the so-called “multimodal” AI voice and sight features that are now all the rage. Apple is going to put some of the high-end M-series chips in its data centers to help handle the load of cloud-based AI.

If it seems like Apple, which usually acts like a maverick on both software and hardware, is desperately trying to keep up with the Joneses, then apparently, some Apple execs think so, too. Gurman said some of Apple’s top brass are nervous about adding a chatbot to the iPhone because AI can lie, manipulate, and otherwise cause mischief to the unsuspecting user. Eventually, Apple hopes to create its own chatbot for its devices, but in the meantime, it’s going to need another company to pick up the slack.

It already feels like a full lifetime since we’ve had the chatbot on iOS, but OpenAI first put its ChatGPT app on iPhones almost exactly one year ago. But we’re quickly moving away from the chatbot-only lifestyle and toward a future where large language models are instead promoted as your “digital assistant.” In effect, the chatbots seem primed to replace Siri on iPhones. Google has already moved toward that AI inevitability with Gemini on Android. Of course, not all users have been happy with the change or how Gemini seems less capable in some cases than Google’s old voice assistant.

You could already make ChatGPT your go-to assistant using Shortcut on iOS, but whether users want it or not Apple seems to believe it needs to compete against Google’s Gemini model directly. That company spent most of its time at its own developer conference I/O, showing how AI is poised to infiltrate every aspect of Android, Search, Chrome, and beyond.

But Apple does want to show off its own AI capabilities as well. The latest iPad Pro with the M4 chip boasts 38 trillion operations per second, AKA TOPS. That’s supposed to allow for the use of on-device AI, though there are few apps that could actually showcase this AI processing speed. This week, Microsoft is set to host its own developer conference that will double down (at this point, it feels like its septupled down) once again on AI. Qualcomm has new chips boasting 45 TOPS, but unless we actually find a reason to host on-device AI, it will all feel as pointless as a drunk man shouting into an empty pit.

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