Apple Partners with OpenAI to Bring AI Tools to iOS Devices

05:58 June 19, 2024

Apple Partners with OpenAI to Bring AI Tools to iOS Devices

Apple is preparing to release a series of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools on iPhones and other personal devices.

Company officials have described the new offerings as a newly developed technology called Apple Intelligence.

The announcement happened during Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference. The event took place last week at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple chief Tim Cook said at the conference that the AI tools will be supported by technology developed by ChatGPT maker OpenAI. The release of ChatGPT in 2022 led to the launch of a new generation of AI tools that aim to perform at human levels.

Such tools, also known as chatbots or generative AI, are designed to interact smoothly with humans and perform high-level writing and other kinds of creative work.

Cook noted that Apple’s new offerings are designed to improve on previous AI technologies, including the company’s 13-year-old personal assistant, Siri. “It’s personal intelligence, and it is the next big step for Apple,” he said.

OpenAI chief Sam Altman also attended Apple’s conference. He said in a statement the partnership with Apple aims to make it “easier for people to benefit from what AI can offer.”

Apple officials said that in addition to adding OpenAI’s technology, Siri was also receiving major upgrades. The upgrades are designed to make the tool more personable and expand its uses.

The new AI tools are designed to assist users across different areas. This includes help with text messages, emails and calendars, as well as with many third-party apps. One example demonstrated at the conference was the ability of the upgraded Siri to fully write emails and change its voice.

Apple officials have said the AI tools are designed to suggest to users when it might make sense to use Apple Intelligence technology in addition to Siri.

The new offerings will only operate on more recent models of the iPhone, iPad and Macs. This is because the AI tools require powerful processors earlier models do not have. For example, iPhone users will need to have last year’s iPhone 15 Pro or buy the next model expected to be released later this year.

Craig Federighi is Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. He told reporters that all users will have the ability to turn off any AI tools they do not want on their device.

Apple has long claimed it values personal privacy by building tools into its operating systems that seek to protect user data. The company said it had taken the same steps to provide privacy protections for its new AI tools.

Federighi said the new AI tools will aim to provide a highly personalized service to give users “intelligence that’s most helpful and relevant for you, and it protects your privacy at every step.”

One way Apple has tried to reduce concerns about its privacy policies moving forward is by stating that most AI tool activity will process on the device itself, rather than at remote data centers.

Such centers are known as “cloud” servers. Technology experts said this policy should also help Apple save money since AI processing through the cloud is far more costly than on a device.

Apple officials said when users make AI demands requiring computing power beyond what is available on the device, the activity will be processed by a “private cloud.” That system, the company says, is supposed to protect personal user data.

Federighi explained the process by saying Apple's AI “will be aware of your personal data without collecting your personal data.”

I’m Bryan Lynn

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