June 22, 2024

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What to expect from Apple’s AI unveiling

What to expect from Apple’s AI unveiling

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (AAPL) kicks off on Monday, June 10, from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, with a keynote from CEO Tim Cook. WWDC 2024 is one of Apple’s most anticipated events in years, and is expected to serve as a launching point for the company’s big push into generative AI.

Wall Street is looking to see what Apple has been cooking up over the past few months, as its competitors begin rolling out, or in some cases rolling back, their own generative AI offerings. Apple has been largely on the sidelines of the AI ​​conversation, save for a few passing mentions during earnings calls and the like.

During the company’s Q2 call in May, Cook appeared to bring up potential AI news from WWDC while touting Apple’s capabilities in both hardware and software.

“We believe in the transformative power and promise of AI, and believe we have advantages that will set us apart in this new era, including Apple’s unique combination of seamless hardware, software, and service integration; and Apple’s leading silicon combined with our industry-leading neural solutions,” he said. “Engine; “Our unwavering focus is on privacy.”

If that wasn’t enough, Apple CMO Greg Joswiak previously posted on Twitter that WWDC It would be “absolutely incredible!” Make sure to capitalize both words. get it? Amnesty International

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, on June 5, 2023. Apple is expected on Monday to showcase expensive mixed reality headset at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference , posing a challenge to Facebook's owner, Meta, in a market that has not yet flourished.  (Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP) (Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, on June 5, 2023. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images) (Josh Edelson via Getty Images)

In addition to revealing its broader AI strategy, Apple will also showcase the latest versions of various operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS, and the first major updates to the company’s VisionOS system, which powers Vision Pro for mixed reality. headphone.

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However, everything else will almost certainly take a back seat in Apple’s AI news.

According to Apple’s Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, the highlight of WWDC 2024 will be a new AI-powered version of Apple’s intelligent assistant Siri. This feature will allow Siri to control individual features within apps, making it much more versatile than Siri on your current iPhone.

Siri has been struggling for years, proving more useful for setting timers and playing songs on Spotify than acting as a true digital assistant. But the generative AI version of Siri offers the promise of a true intelligent assistant that can provide you with everything from proactive advice to improved responses to those random questions that cross your mind throughout the day.

Bloomberg Gorman He also says Apple’s AI features, called Apple Intelligence, will impact a range of other apps including Messages, Notes and Safari as well.

How Apple will make a smarter Siri work remains an open question. According to reports from Bloomberg, The Wall Street JournalAnd New York timesApple has been in talks with OpenAI to license its GPT software and separate talks with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to license its Gemini software.

Linking up with either company could become complicated. OpenAI already works closely with Microsoft (MSFT), which is differentiating its PC business from Apple by boasting about how some Windows 11 features are powered by GPT-4o. Meanwhile, Google is using its Gemini AI model on its Android smartphones, which compete directly with Apple’s iPhone. Google is also working with Samsung to provide AI software for that company’s Galaxy phone line.

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It will also be interesting to see whether consumers or Wall Street will get more excited about Apple’s AI rollout. Investors and analysts have been waiting for Apple to provide some sort of answer to the explosion of generative AI, but consumer use cases have been relatively limited so far.

If Apple rolls out some well-developed features, it’s unlikely to prompt consumers to drop everything and buy a new iPhone in September when the company debuts its latest phones. Instead, most consumers will likely wait until they see some sort of hardware upgrade they’ve been waiting for, or until their current phone becomes unbearably slow, before purchasing a new device.

As for iPadOS and macOS, expect Apple to roll out the same AI features it adds to iOS across those operating systems as well. Overall, I expect Apple to be fairly judicious in its AI moves. The company is very in tune with how consumers view its products, and after the setbacks that competitors like Google and Microsoft have experienced with their own AI stumbles, it’s hard to imagine Apple would announce anything it wasn’t completely confident about.

Beyond AI, Apple is also expected to unveil Rich Communications Services, or RCS, for the iPhone. This means that users will finally be able to send high-quality photos and videos to their Android friends. RCS is also more secure than the SMS standard that Apple currently uses for iPhone-to-Android text messaging.

Gorman also says that Apple will finally allow people to arrange app icons on their iPhone home screen any way they want, instead of remaining in the traditional grid layout.

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There’s bound to be more announcements from the big show, and Yahoo Finance will be there live, bringing you the latest news as it unfolds.

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Email Daniel Hawley at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Daniel Holly.

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