Apple set to announce generative AI features

10/06/2024 | The Wall Street Journal

Despite falling behind in the artificial intelligence (AI) arms race, Apple is expected to announce at its upcoming annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week that the company is set to launch a series of generative AI upgrades to its software products, including Siri. The new AI features are expected to assist in message writing, photo editing, and text summarization. Apple is also preparing to unveil AI features that prioritize user privacy, positioning the company to join the AI arms race that many believe will shape the future of technology. Though Apple may not catch up with leading AI innovators soon, the company is expected to reveal AI features with impressive capabilities. Furthermore, there is an expectation the company will announce potential partnerships with one or more of the major AI developers after discussions with OpenAI, Google, and Cohere.

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On Monday morning in California, The Guardian reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the outdoor stage at its corporate headquarters in Apple Park to announce a series of privacy-preserving generative AI services integrated into its core software operating systems, iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. 

"AI has to understand you and be grounded in your personal context like your routine, your relationships, your communications and more. It's beyond artificial intelligence. It's personal intelligence," said Cook. "Introducing‚Ķ Apple Intelligence." 

As OpenAI CEO Sam Altman watched from the crowd, Cook also announced Apple has entered into a partnership with ChatGPT, which he confirmed will lead to "a new standard in privacy in AI" and that the company will "apply this technology in a responsible way." This includes masking users' IP addresses and that OpenAI won't store requests. 

While the foundation of Apple Intelligence lies in on-device processing, the introduction of Private Cloud Compute (PCC) applies cryptography to "flex and scale its computational capacity, drawing on larger, server-based models to handle more complex requests, all while protecting user privacy." Furthermore, in an effort to increase transparency, Apple has said that independent experts can scrutinise the code running on Apple silicon servers and that it will not talk to an external server "unless its software has been publicly logged for inspection."

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