AI Now on Agenda for Apple as OpenAI to add ChatGPT to Siri

in the current boom of AI, Apple has been seen as being pretty late to the game
Apple has now entered the AI sphere by announcing OpenAI's ChatGPT will be worked into its Siri voice assistant

Apple has officially entered the AI business with a significant announcement at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in Cupertino, California. 

Although widely expected to announce a raft of AI features, a surprise came when CEO Tim Cook introduced a partnership with OpenAI for ChatGPT alongside its "Apple Intelligence" suite of new on-device processing AI-powered features.

Apple's Senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi said of the announcement: "Apple Intelligence puts AI models right at the core of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, protecting your privacy at every step." 

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The AI features will come with the latest software for its devices and allow users to summarise text and generate other content, such as personalised animations to send a friend birthday wishes.

AI’s integration into its voice assistant Siri received the most buzz, however. Through the partnership, the companies are seeking to improve the virtual assistant Siri by turning it into more of a chatbot and allowing it to perform hundreds of news tasks.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman expressed enthusiasm for the partnership in a social media post, saying he was “very happy” to be partnering with Apple to integrate ChatGPT into its products.

This marks a pivotal moment for the tech giant as it seeks to catch up with competitors in the AI race.

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Apple’s long-awaited AI push

Apple's foray into generative AI is not entirely new. The company has been incorporating AI and machine learning into its products for years, with Siri being a notable example. 

Yet, in the current boom of AI, one of the world’s most valuable companies has been seen as being pretty late to the game. 

In 2023, whilst its biggest competitor Microsoft raced to release its own Gen AI Bard (now Gemini) chatbot following the explosion of ChatGPT, Apple seemed unwilling to engage in the game, instead announcing its Apple Vision headset. 

However, its March 2024 acquisition of Canadian AI startup DarwinAI signalled a renewed focus on AI. 

DarwinAI specialises in making AI applications more efficient and has worked with major companies like Intel and Lockheed Martin. This acquisition has bolstered Apple's AI division, with key personnel from DarwinAI joining Apple.

Cook has acknowledged the transformative potential of generative AI, stating that it will unlock new opportunities for productivity and problem-solving. 

Yet, its current announcement to integrate generative AI into its products, aiming to enhance user experience and maintain its competitive edge, seems to show a consumer focus on the technology

OpenAI as a catalyst

Apple's partnership with OpenAI is part of a broader trend among tech giants that seek to partner with the startup to accelerate their own AI ambitions. 

Microsoft, for instance, has a long-standing relationship with OpenAI, investing billions to commercialise advanced AI technologies. This collaboration has led to significant advancements, including the development of AI supercomputing infrastructure and the deployment of models like ChatGPT and DALL·E 2 on Microsoft's Azure platform.

Similarly, PwC has entered into an expansive deal with OpenAI, becoming the largest user and first official reseller of ChatGPT Enterprise. This partnership aims to integrate AI into PwC's operations, enhancing productivity and offering tailored AI solutions to clients.

Apple's AI strategy, while late to the game, focuses on personalisation and privacy, big issues surrounding use of AI, and a core tennant Apple highlights with all its products. 

Although investors weren’t entirely impressed with the announcement, with Apple shares dropping nearly 2%, the move signals the tech titan sees it has to get on board or be left behind in the AI race.

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