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Apple plans AI-based Siri overhaul to control individual app functions

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Apple plans AI-based Siri overhaul to control individual app functions
Apple plans AI-based Siri overhaul to control individual app functions

According to people with knowledge of the topic, Apple Inc. plans to update its Siri virtual assistant with more sophisticated artificial intelligence. This will enable users to manage certain app functionalities using their voice.

The people, who wished to remain anonymous because the initiative isn’t public, claimed that the new approach will enable Siri to take control of every feature within apps for the first time. That modification necessitated a rewrite of Siri’s underlying software utilising big language models, which are a fundamental component of generative AI. According to Apple, this shift will be a focal point of the company’s revived AI push.

The update is a part of the business’s wider AI plan, which will be revealed on June 10 at its Worldwide Developers Conference. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a number of capabilities, such as AI-generated emojis, automated message answers, automated webpage and notification summaries, sophisticated photo editing, and voice memo transcriptions and summaries.

While cloud computing will handle more sophisticated capabilities, devices themselves will execute more basic AI activities as part of the rollout. Additionally, the business has been negotiating with OpenAI to incorporate the startup’s chatbot and other technologies into the iOS operating system, and it is still in discussions with Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, about future usage of its Gemini software.

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Siri will be the main attraction at the WWDC announcement. The assistant will be able to operate and manoeuvre an iPhone or iPad more precisely thanks to the new system. This includes opening specific documents, transferring notes to different folders, emailing or deleting links, launching a specific publication in Apple News, emailing a web link, and even requesting an article synopsis from the device.

An Apple spokesman headquartered in Cupertino, California, declined to comment.

Currently, Siri can only be used for more general instructions like managing smart home equipment, playing music playlists, and information searches. Additionally, the business provides developers with what are called app intents, which let them create custom ways for Siri to access specific features. 2018

Going one step further, the new system would use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor user behaviour on devices and trigger the activation of Siri-controlled features. At first, it will only work with Apple apps, but the business hopes to enable hundreds of different commands.

According to the people, the feature—which is one of Apple’s more intricate AI projects—won’t be available until possibly early in the upcoming year when it’s included in an iOS 18 update. September will see the release of the initial iteration of the new operating system, coinciding with the release of the upcoming iPhone models.

Although Apple intends to enable users to chain commands together, the new Siri will initially only respond to one command at a time. For instance, they may make a single request to Siri to summarise a meeting that was recorded and then text it to a colleague. Alternatively, it is possible to ask an iPhone to trim a photo before sending it to a buddy via email.

The new push includes a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to decide whether a task should be performed on the device or on the cloud.

That has prompted some inquiries about privacy. Personal information won’t be shared while using on-device chores, but the cloud-based method will need some user data to be sent to distant servers. According to a Bloomberg story earlier this month, the data centres’ high-end Apple Mac CPUs, which house the so-called Secure Enclave, will safeguard the data.

Apple plans to produce a “intelligence report” that details the security measures in place in an effort to reassure customers even more that their data is secret. Additionally, the iPhone manufacturer has criticised Google and Meta Platforms Inc. for creating consumer profiles. It will not do so.

Apple hopes to revitalise a ground-breaking product that lagged behind rivals’ offerings with the Siri update. With the 2011 launch of Siri, the business had an early advantage in voice-based interfaces and artificial intelligence. However, Google Assistant and Alexa from Amazon.com Inc. quickly overtook Apple in that regard. Then, two years ago, the rise of generative AI chatbots caught it off guard once more.

Apple is likewise facing a downturn in sales, and this year, its shares have underperformed relative to peers. In 2024, the stock has lost roughly 1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Stock Index has gained 10%. On Thursday, Apple was up 0.5% to $191.29 in New York.

Apple is speculating that the improved Siri and the new AI features for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac will entice customers to upgrade. For many of the on-device AI features to function, an iPhone 15 Pro or later is needed. On the other hand, Macs and iPads require at least an M1 chip.

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