Apple to revamp Siri to catch up with chatbot competitors

Apple's top software executives decided early last year that Siri, the company's virtual assistant, needed a brain transplant.

The decision came after executives Craig Federighi and John Giannandrea spent several weeks testing OpenAI's new chatbot, ChatGPT. The product uses generic artificial intelligence that can write poetry, create computer code and perform complex tasks, said two people familiar with the company's work, who were not authorized to speak publicly. Can answer questions, which makes Siri look archaic.

Introduced in 2011 as the native virtual assistant in every iPhone, Siri was for years limited to individual requests and was never able to follow conversations. This often leads to misunderstanding of the questions. On the other hand, ChatGPT knew that if someone asked about the weather in San Francisco and then said, “What about New York?” That user wanted another forecast.

The realization that new technology had overtaken Siri triggered the tech giant's most significant restructuring in more than a decade. Determined to join the tech industry's AI race, Apple has made Generative AI a tent pole project — the company's special, internal label that it uses once a decade to organize employees around.

Apple hopes to show off its AI work at its annual developers conference on June 10 when it releases an improved Siri that's more conversational and effective, according to three people familiar with the company's work who were not authorized to speak publicly. Is versatile. Siri's underlying technology will include a new generative AI system that will allow it to chat rather than answer questions one at a time.

The update to Siri is at the forefront of Apple's broader effort to drive adoption of generic AI across business. The company is also increasing the memory in this year's iPhones to support its new Siri capabilities. And it has discussed licensing the complementary AI models that power chatbots from a number of companies, including Google, Cohere, and OpenAI. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Apple executives worry that new AI technology threatens the company's dominance in the global smartphone market because it has the potential to become the primary operating system, displacing the iPhone's iOS software, two people familiar with the thinking of Apple's leadership said. Said, who did not have permission to speak publicly.

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