Apple Intelligence Announced at WWDC 2024: Apple Joins the AI Race     – CNET

Apple Intelligence Announced at WWDC 2024: Apple Joins the AI Race – CNET

Apple Intelligence, the company’s long-awaited deeper push into AI, made its debut at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. It will be integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and MacOS Sequoia, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology will be more deeply tied into those platforms as well. 

AI has played an important role in Apple products for years. But the widespread popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot has shined a bigger spotlight on generative AI, or AI models trained on large swaths of data that can create content in response to prompts. As rivals such as Samsung, Google and Microsoft have been infusing the tech into their most important products, all eyes have been on Apple to see how the company plans to bring generative AI to its own products. At WWDC 2024, we’re finally getting that answer. 

Read more: WWDC 2024: How to Watch and What to Expect

apple intelligence announced apple joins the ai race

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Understanding personal context when delivering answers and carrying out tasks is a big part of Apple’s approach with Apple Intelligence. Apple seems to be using this tactic as a way to distinguish it’s own AI efforts from those previously announced by competitors. As an example, Apple explained how Apple Intelligence can understand multiple factors like traffic, your schedule and your contacts to help you understand whether you can make it to an event on time. 

Apple also started out the AI portion of its keynote with an emphasis on privacy. It explained how many of its AI models run on device, which is generally considered to be more private since information doesn’t have to leave the device. At times when a task may require larger models, Apple will use a system called Private Cloud Compute. When needed, tasks that require more computing power will run on servers Apple has specifically created that run on Apple Silicon. Apple Intelligence will decide whether a task can be processed on device.

Siri upgrades

siri on screen

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Siri is a big part of Apple’s AI push. Siri is becoming more natural, relevant and personal with this update. You’ll be able to speak in more natural language, and Siri should be able to understand you even if you stumble all over your words. Since it understands context, you can ask follow up questions, and Siri should know what you mean. Apple’s virtual assistant will support text input as well. 

Siri is also getting better at helping you use your iPhone since it will be able to answer questions about specific iPhone features. Over the course of the next year, more Siri updates will be coming. Siri is getting on-screen awareness so that it can take action based on what’s on your phone’s screen, which sounds similar to the upgraded version of Gemini that Google announced last month. An example might include adding someone’s address to their contact card after receiving it in a text message. 

Siri will be able to take actions within apps, such as editing a video, and will be able to draw on your personal context to help you accomplish tasks. If you ask it when a love one’s flight is landing, for example, it’ll cross reference flight data that may have been shared with you through a text message or email. Siri will also be able to incorporate other information, like upcoming lunch reservations, so you can ask it how long it will take to get from the airport to the restaurant without switching between apps. 

Image generation and productivity 

apple intelligence video search feature on iphone

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Several of the new features in Apple Intelligence are focused on productivity, similar to tools we’ve seen from Google and Microsoft over the past year. Apple Intelligence can help you rewrite emails in different styles, for example, and it can summarize priority notifications. The idea is to make it easy to see important notifications at a glance.

As expected, you’ll also be able to create emoji on the fly with a new tool called Genmoji. This allows you to create custom emojis based on your text conversation. 

Apple is also introducing an image generator called Image Playground. You can choose from themes, accessories, places and more, and these environments get added to your “playground.” If you have something specific in mind, you can type in an idea to add it to your “playground.” There are three styles for image generation: sketch, illustration and animation. Since it understands your context, it’ll also make suggestions. Image Playground is available as an app, but it’ll also be integrated into apps like Messages, Keynote and more. 

The Notes app is getting a new tool called Image Wand, which lets you circle a rough sketch within a note and open the Image Playground to create a more realistic picture. 

Apple Intelligence can also take actions on your behalf. You’ll be able to ask it to pull up files from last week, play a podcast that a friend or loved one sent the other day and more. 

ChatGPT integration

apple intelligence with chatGPT on screen

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Apple is also partnering with OpenAI to incorporate ChatGPT into iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and MacOS Sequoia. If you’re using Siri, for example, Apple’s virtual helper will be able to tap into ChatGPT’s expertise when needed to answer a specific question. For instance, if you want to know what types of plants would look nice on your backyard’s deck, you can snap a photo, and Siri can use ChatGPT to provide an answer.

Notably, Apple says that users will be asked whether they want to use ChatGPT before using the service to pull up answers. 

Apple’s announcement follows similar moves from Samsung, Google, Microsoft and OpenAI. Samsung announced a collection of new AI features called Galaxy AI for its Galaxy phones in January. Galaxy AI, which debuted on the Galaxy S24 series, includes tools that can translate phone calls in real time, erase and resize objects in photos and preview video clips in slow motion. 

Google started 2024 by announcing Circle to Search, a feature for Android phones that makes it possible to launch a Google search just by circling or scribbling on a subject shown on screen. At its I/O conference last month, Google showed how its Gemini assistant will be able to understand more about the apps that are being used. Microsoft also previously announced similar AI-powered productivity tools for gathering context from emails and controlling PC settings. 

Apple also announced new software updates for all of its major platforms at WWDC, including new versions of iOS, MacOS, WatchOS, iPadOS and more. The company usually introduces its new iPhone and Apple Watch models in September. 

This story is developing. Please refresh for the latest updates. 

Editors’ note: CNET used an AI engine to help create several dozen stories, which are labeled accordingly. The note you’re reading is attached to articles that deal substantively with the topic of AI but are created entirely by our expert editors and writers. For more, see our AI policy.

Lisa Eadicicco

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