Apple's first attempt at AI is Apple Intelligence

It's been a long time coming.


Apple is going all in on AI in the most Apple way possible. At WWDC, Apple's annual conference for developers, the company revealed Apple Intelligence, an Apple-branded version of AI that is more focused on infusing its software with the technology and upgrading existing apps to make them more useful. Apple Intelligence will be powered both by Apple’s homegrown tech as well as a partnership with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, Apple announced.

One of Apple’s biggest AI upgrades is coming to Siri. The company’s built-in voice assistant will now be powered by large language models, the tech that underlies all modern-day generative AI. Siri, which has languished over the years, may become more useful now that it can interact more closely with Apple’s operating systems and apps. You can, for instance, ask Siri to give you a summary of a news article, delete an email or edit a photo. The assistant will also be able to take more than 100 actions, such as finding photos based on a general description of their contents, or extracting personal information from a picture of your ID to automatically fill in forms online. Finally, you can type your question into Siri instead of using your voice.

Apple Intelligence will be highlight relevant content in Safari as you browse. You’ll also be able to use it to quickly catch up on priority notifications. And just like Gmail and Outlook, your devices will be able create fleshed out responses to emails and text messages on your behalf. Apple also announced a suite of new features called Writing Tools that uses AI to write, rewrite, proofread and summarize text across the system, useful to draft emails and blog posts, for instance.

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Apple Intelligence will use AI to record, transcribe and summarize your phone calls, rivaling third-party transcription services like Otter. All participants are automatically notified when you start recording, and a transcript of the conversation's main points is automatically generated at the end. You can also use AI to generate images, stickers and custom emoji (which Apple calls Genmoji) in any app.

Apple Intelligence can transcribe and summarize calls automatically.

Thanks to its partnership with OpenAI, Apple also is baking the base version of GPT-4o — OpenAI's newest large language model — into Siri as well as Writing Tools. Siri can act as an intermediary for user queries to GTP-4o, and Writing Tools can use the LLM to help compose text. Apple claims unless you connect your paid ChatGPT account to your Apple device, the company won't store your requests or other identifying information like your IP address.

Apple Intelligence, which the company says will be in beta at launch, will be restricted to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max and iPads and Macs with M1 (or higher) chipsets. Your device will also need to be set to US English.

Apple's AI features are a long time coming. Generative AI has shaken up Silicon Valley ever since OpenAI launched ChatGPT around the end of 2022. Since then, Apple’s rivals like Google, Samsung and Microsoft, as well as companies like Meta have raced to integrate AI features in all their primary products. Last month, Google announced that AI would be a cornerstone of the next version of Android and made major AI-powered changes to its search engine. Samsung, Apple’s primary smartphone competitor, added AI features to its phones earlier this year that can translate calls in real time and edit photos. Microsoft, too, unveiled AI-powered Copilot PCs, aimed at infusing Windows with AI features that include live captioning, image editing, and beefing up systemwide search.

Catch up here for all the news out of Apple's WWDC 2024.