Apple Intelligence: what AI features has Apple cooked up?

Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote showcased a major shift towards artificial intelligence. They announced “Apple Intelligence,” a suite of AI features coming to iPhones, Macs, and other devices later this year. This includes a more natural-sounding Siri, custom-designed emoji (“Genmoji”), and access to GPT-4o, allowing Siri to leverage OpenAI’s powerful chatbot when it reaches its limits.

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While Apple previously avoided the term “AI,” they’re now embracing it, offering features similar to what Google, Microsoft, and others have introduced. However, there are limitations. Apple Intelligence will initially be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, iPads and Macs with M1 chips or newer, and devices set to English.

The rollout begins this fall across iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.

Image generation features

Apple introduces “Genmoji,” a new AI-powered feature that creates custom emoji on the fly.  Can’t find the right reaction in your existing library? Let AI design one for you.

iOS 18 brings “Image Playground,” a new app that lets you generate unique images using AI.  This feature extends beyond its own app, as Apple is offering an API for developers to integrate Image Playground functionality into their own creations.

Apple’s Photos app gets a boost with improved object recognition.  Search for specific actions or poses, like “person doing cartwheels,” for more precise results.  They’ve also added features similar to Google’s Magic Eraser, allowing you to remove unwanted elements from your photos.

Apple and OpenAI have teamed up

Later this year, Apple is introducing access to ChatGPT, an advanced chatbot powered by GPT-4.  When Siri reaches its limits, it will seamlessly connect with ChatGPT to tackle your request.  Apple assures users that their privacy is protected.  They will ask permission before sending any questions, documents, or photos to ChatGPT, and OpenAI will not store user requests.  Siri will simply relay the response back to you.

This is just the beginning!  Apple plans to integrate ChatGPT with their system-wide AI writing tools, allowing it to generate images alongside text.  Additionally, there will be an option for users to connect their existing OpenAI accounts to access potential paid features within the built-in integrations.

Siri enhanced with AI

Apple’s AI features go beyond simple automation. They can manage notifications, write content for you, summarize text across apps, and even perform actions between different apps.  Similar to existing writing tools, you can adjust the tone of your writing with prompts.

When you use Siri, it leverages “onscreen awareness” to understand what you’re looking at and potentially take actions within various apps –  both Apple’s and third-party options.  Additionally, you’ll have the option to type your requests to Siri, not just speak them.

As always, Apple prioritizes privacy. Many features will process information directly on your device whenever possible. For more complex requests, your device will automatically send them to the cloud. Here’s where “Private Cloud Compute” comes in. These cloud-based models are powered by Apple’s own silicon, and Apple assures users that their data will never be stored or accessed on these servers.  To further ensure transparency, Apple will allow independent experts to inspect the code running on their servers to verify its privacy practices.