Apple debuts ‘Apple Intelligence’

1 min read

Apple’s unveiling of a number of new features and a deal with Open AI are its attempts to catch up with the AI being deployed by its rivals.

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The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, made a series of announcements regarding generative AI products and services during his keynote at the company’s annual developer conference, WWDC, earlier this week.

Apple has been criticised for being slow to embrace AI, compared to many of its rivals, and has integrated fewer AI features into its consumer-facing products. Cook’s announcement is being seen, therefore, as a major shift in its strategy.

Apple’s new AI system involves a range of generative AI tools that can be used to automate and personalise experiences on its devices. AI will be integrated throughout the operating systems on the company’s Mac laptops, iPad tablets and iPhones.

Apple is also set to integrate ChatGPT technology into responses with a new version of its voice assistant Siri.

However, Apple’s push into AI appears to be limited to only its most powerful devices which could anger users who will be updating to IOS 18 this autumn.

In fact, Apple’s AI applications will only run on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, which are the only two devices the company has shipped using its flagship A17 processor.

Critics suggest that the company’s decision to limit access to its AI features is all about profit and forcing users to upgrade their devices – in essence it’s a ‘forced’ obsolescence.

However, the company’s lack of generative AI tools has concerned analysts and investors, and Apple has struggled over the past year with weakening global demand for its iPhone.

It’s decision to make Apple Intelligence run on-device will require a lot of processing, and that will impact not only chipsets but the device’s memory and storage. However, these announcements appear to be all about the long-term.

According to IDC analyst, Francisco Jeronimo, this is about preparing the company for an upgrade supercycle which will see people fundamentally change the way in which they think about and use their devices which will be driven by AI.

It seems that while Apple has been building up its AI capabilities it has been reluctant to enter the ‘AI game’ due to a desire to maintain its privacy-focused brand but Cook has said that the company plans to usher in a “new standard for privacy in AI”.

Apple may be late to the party but if it’s able to protect users’ privacy that could be a significant differentiator, especially if it is able to provide proof that user data is discarded at the end of a query.