Apple Announces Big iOS 18 AI Revamp on It’s Virtual Assistant, Siri
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Apple Announces Big iOS 18 AI Revamp on It’s Virtual Assistant, Siri

Tech giant Apple is revamping its virtual assistant, Siri with advanced AI to make it smarter. According to Bloomberg, the iOS 18 AI revamp is central to Apple’s renewed AI push. With the new AI update, users will be able to control certain iPhone app features with their voice.

The revamped version of Siri will be available in 2025 on iOS 18. However, Apple is expected to announce more details about the upcoming AI update when it hosts the WWDC 2024 starting June 10, 2024. Although the finished versions won’t be available until fall, developer and public betas may be available sooner.

Large Language Model (LLM)

The iOS 18 AI overhaul is set to be among the biggest iPhone software updates that Apple has undertaken in recent times. Most of the changes in this update revolve around AI.

The company is said to have overhauled Siri to use large language models that power generative AI systems like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s GPT-4o. It is expected that Apple will use inhouse LLM for Siri’s voice assistant.

The AI updates are set to make interactions with Siri more natural. They are also expected to improve its search, photo editing, summarizing, and text suggestion capabilities. A few days ago, the Verge reported that Apple may have already entered into a deal with OpenAI to integrate chatbots into iOS 18. The tech giant will likely leverage ChatGPT to handle queries that its LLM cannot handle.

New Capabilities 

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple’s Siri-controlled features update will give the virtual assistant new capabilities. For instance, Siri will be able to analyze phone activity and activate custom functions after a user prompts it. Initially, control will be limited to Apple applications. However, this will change with time as the tech company develops support for hundreds of other commands.

As it currently is, Siri only supports one command at a time. The new iOS 18 and AI revamp will expand Siri’s capacity to handle multiple tasks with a single request.  Specifically, Siri will be able to move notes between folders, open specific reports on Apple News, open multiple documents, even send or delete mails among others. For instance, the virtual assistant will be able to summarize records from a meeting and text them to a colleague with a single request. Alternatively, Siri will be able to crop a photo and email it to a friend with a single request from an iPhone user.

Playing Catch-Up

Apple’s move to integrate AI in iOS 18 and improve its overall AI functionality can be seen as an effort to catch-up with other tech giants. Application feature control has been in existence for some time now. Siri’s functionality has been lagging behind its peers, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

With the ChatGPT coming into play, Apple may have noted that generative AI caused Siri to appear old. This realization may have caused the tech giant to worry about the iPhone being left behind as its intelligent rivals reign. The iOS 18 AI will address this weakness and even give the iPhone an edge over Android.

Jennifer Crawford
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