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Apple’s AI pitch

AI concept
By Matt Redley
13 June 2024
Technology, Media & Telecomms
Digital and Insight

Apple has this week made its long-anticipated push into AI. This marks one of the most significant integrations in its history, and a major moment in consumer adoption of the technology.

Aptly named ‘Apple Intelligence’, the announcement creates a new brand name for Apple’s own AI tools. Apple Intelligence will be able to understand and create languages and images, take action across apps, and draw from personal context to simplify and accelerate everyday tasks. The company also took a significant step in integrating Open AI’s ChatGPT into Siri and its operating systems for “expertise” where it might be helpful.

So how much of a change will this make to you and me? Apple Intelligence will help day-to-day interactions with communication, such as proofreading and rewriting to adjust the tone and wording, summarisation, and prioritisation for notifications. More importantly, users will also be able to create their own custom emojis from text for those moments when Apple emojis don’t capture it, such as ‘surfing donkey’ or ‘cucumber salad in space’.

Having ChatGPT integrated into Siri will also allow users to perform tasks which have a greater number of steps. Users will be able to ask it for meal inspiration from ingredients from the garden, or to share your photo of the Trevi Fountain, asking it to plan a 1-day tour from our location around Rome.

Apple has said that their announcement will set a “new standard for privacy in AI”. This statement seeks to directly counter those who raise privacy concerns of AI, especially given that the technology regularly relies on data being transferred to an off-premises cloud system for processing.

Privacy is not a word that has been synonymous with ChatGPT, however.  The company has faced numerous accusations that it has violated GDPR and has been opaque as to who it shares data it collects from your requests, and for what reason. All personal data shared with ChatGPT, regardless of whether it is of a sensitive nature, can be used for training purposes.

In this partnership, Apple has stressed that the user will always be consulted whenever data is shared with OpenAI to complete a task. Regardless, critics have already labelled this a potential privacy issue, alongside that from Elon Musk, who has called this an ‘unacceptable security violation’.

Apple has faced growing calls that the company is behind the competition when it comes to integrating AI. Ahead of Apple, Google has been developing its Gemini platform; Microsoft has adopted ChatGPT into its Bing search engine; and Amazon, has invested $4bn in Anthropic, a start-up founded by former members of ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

In line with its strategy of not being the first, but aiming to be the best, the company has studied how best to integrate the tools from the competition, and learning from those who have rushed out Generative AI tools and have faced embarrassment for disastrous roll-outs.

In this announcement, Apple has taken a necessary step to silence critics that have argued they are behind the curve with AI. This partnership with OpenAI also keeps the door open for integrating other AI services, such as Google’s Gemini, on which conversations are reportedly still ongoing.