WWDC 2024: Apple talks about giving Siri a new generative AI upgrade. Here's what might change

According to a New York Times report, Apple may introduce a much-needed generative AI-powered upgrade to Siri that could make the voice assistant more conversational and versatile, giving it the ability to chat rather than just answer one question at a time. Capacity may be available. The new Siri upgrades, along with Apple's other AI offerings, could be unveiled at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10.

Apple reportedly doesn't want to compete directly with ChatGPT with the new Siri upgrade. Instead, the company is focusing on improving the tasks Siri already does, like setting reminders, creating calendar appointments, adding items to shopping lists, and more. Siri may also get the ability to summarize text messages.

Apple plans to market the new AI-powered version of Siri as more private than its rivals, as it will be able to process requests directly on the iPhone rather than through a cloud server. Apple's latest approach may have some obvious benefits, like better privacy, faster response times, and the ability to work offline or in places with poor internet connectivity.

On the other hand, on-device large language models (LLMs) may not be as powerful or knowledgeable as commercial chatbots like ChatGPT or Gemini, which are backed by huge servers with billions of parameters.

Why is Apple providing generative AI improvements to Siri?

The decision to give Siri a “brain transplant” was reportedly made last year after top Apple executives including Craig Federighi and John Giannandrea spent several weeks testing ChatGPIT, which made Siri look “ancient”.

Siri was first introduced as a voice assistant in iPhones in 2011 and has been a major part of all new launches since then. However, virtual assistants have been known to struggle with carrying on a conversation and are instead limited to answering one-off questions. Additionally, Apple is finally trying to join the AI ​​race, and a new upgrade of Siri is likely to be part of the company's broader efforts to adopt generic AI across its business.

The New York Times report claims that Apple is planning to increase memory in the iPhone 16 series to support Siri's new capabilities. The Cupertino-based tech giant is also reportedly working on deals for complementary AI models from various companies including Google, Cohere and OpenAI.

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