June 22, 2024

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Apple, at WWDC, enters the AI ​​race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders

Apple, at WWDC, enters the AI ​​race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple Inc. has jumped into the race to bring generative artificial intelligence to the masses, highlighting a slew of features on Monday designed to improve its iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.

In a move befitting a company known for its marketing prowess, the AI ​​technology coming as part of free software updates later this year has been described as “Apple Intelligence.”

Even as it tried to put its own stamp on the most important areas of technology, Apple implicitly admitted during its Worldwide Developers Conference that it needed help catching up with companies like Microsoft and Google, which emerged as among the first leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence. Apple is relying on ChatGPT, created by San Francisco startup OpenAI, to make its often stuttering virtual assistant Siri smarter and more helpful.

“All of this is beyond artificial intelligence, it’s personal intelligence, which is the next big step for Apple,” CEO Tim Cook said.

The optional Siri gateway to ChatGPT will be free for all iPhone users and will be available on other Apple products once this option is integrated into the next generation of Apple operating systems. ChatGPT subscribers should be able to easily sync their existing accounts when using an iPhone, and should get more advanced features than free users will.

To announce the alliance with Apple, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sat in the front row of the crowded conference, which was attended by developers from more than 60 countries.

“Together with Apple, we’re making it easier for people to benefit from what artificial intelligence can offer,” Altman said in a statement.

Besides letting Siri tap into ChatGPT’s store of knowledge, Apple is giving its 13-year-old virtual assistant a sweeping makeover designed to make it more elegant and versatile, even as it currently receives about 1.5 billion queries a day.

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When Apple releases free updates to the software that powers the iPhone and its other products this fall, Siri will signal its presence with flashing lights along the edges of the display. It will be able to handle hundreds more tasks, including routine ones that might require tapping on third-party hardware, than it can now, based on Monday’s presentations.

The full suite of features coming from Apple will only work on newer models of iPhone, iPad, and Mac because the devices require advanced processors. For example, consumers will need to have last year’s iPhone 15 Pro or buy the next model coming out later this year to take full advantage of Apple’s AI suite, although all the tools will work on Macs dating back to 2020 after. Install the following operating system for this computer. .

The AI-infused updates coming to the next versions of Apple’s software aim to enable the billions of people who use the company’s devices to get more done in less time, while also giving them access to creative tools that can bring things to life. For example, Apple will deploy artificial intelligence to let people quickly create emojis, dubbed “Genmojis,” to fit the vibe they’re trying to convey.

Apple’s goal with AI “is not to replace users, but to empower them,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told reporters. Users will also have the option to go into the device’s settings to turn off any AI tools they don’t want.

Monday’s presentation appeared aimed at allaying fears that Apple may lose its edge with the advent of artificial intelligence, a technology expected to be as revolutionary as the phone’s introduction in 2007. Both Google And Samsung It has already released smartphone models touting AI features as its main attractions, while Apple has remained stuck in a rut. Uncharacteristically prolonged sales decline.

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The obsession with artificial intelligence is the main reason why Nvidia, the dominant chipmaker that underpins the technology, has seen its market value soar from about $300 billion at the end of 2022 to… About 3 trillion dollars. Nvidia’s rapid rise has allowed it to overtake Apple as the second most valuable company in the United States. Earlier this year, Microsoft also overtook the iPhone maker on the strength of its success so far in artificial intelligence.

Investors didn’t seem as impressed by Apple’s AI presentation as the crowd that came to the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, to see it. Apple’s stock price fell nearly 2% on Monday.

Despite this negative reaction, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives emphasized in a research note that Apple is “taking the right path.” He praised the presentation as a “historic” day for a company that has already reshaped the technology industry and society.

Besides pulling its AI tricks out of its bag, Apple also used the conference to confirm that it will roll out a technology called Rich Communications Service, or RCS, in its iMessage app. This technology is supposed to improve the quality and security of text messages between iPhones and Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel.

The change, scheduled to come with the next version of the iPhone operating software, will not remove the blue bubbles that indicate text sent from iPhones and the green bubbles that indicate text sent from Android devices — a distinction that has become a source of social stigma.

In another upcoming development for the iPhone messaging app, users will be able to type a text (or get an AI tool to create it) in advance and schedule a specific time to send it automatically.

Monday’s presentation marks the second year in a row that Apple has made waves at its developer conference by using it to usher in a trendy form of technology that other companies have already used.

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Last year, Apple introduced… An early look at the mixed reality headsetVision Pro, which isn’t released until early 2024. However, Apple’s push into mixed reality — with a development described as “spatial computing” — has raised hopes that there will be more consumer interest in this niche technology.

Part of this optimism stems from Apple history Launching technology later than others, then using sleek designs and great marketing campaigns to overcome its late start.

Bringing more AI to the iPhone will likely raise privacy concerns — a topic Apple has gone to great lengths to reassure its loyal customers that it can be trusted not to delve into their personal lives. Apple spoke extensively on Monday about its efforts to build strong privacy protections and controls around its artificial intelligence technology.

One way Apple is trying to convince consumers that the iPhone won’t be used to spy on them is to harness its chip technology so that most of its AI-powered features are handled on the device itself rather than in remote data centers, often called a “data center.” Cloud.” Going this route would also help protect Apple’s profit margins because processing AI via the cloud is much more expensive than if it ran just on the device.

When Apple users require AI that requires computing power beyond what’s available on the device, the tasks will be handled by what the company calls a “private cloud” that is supposed to protect their personal data.

Apple’s AI “will be aware of your personal data without collecting your personal data,” Federighi said.