– Apple is reportedly planning to announce AI upgrades for iOS 18 and the iPhone at WWDC 2024.
– The upgrades will include improvements to Siri, Messages, Apple Music, Pages, and more.
– The foundation for these upgrades is a large language model called Ajax.
– Apple plans to apply AI capabilities across hardware and software, not just on the iPhone.
– The company is working on a new version of Xcode and other development tools that incorporate AI.
– Apple’s generative AI vision may not be fully realized until at least 2025.
– Possible AI features on iPhones include a next-gen Siri assistant, improved voice control, AI assistance in Messages, and AI-enhanced Apple Music.
– Questions remain about how Apple will refer to its AI features, whether they will work on-device or require cloud processing, and which iPhone models will be compatible.
– More information will be revealed at WWDC 2024.
It’s shaping up to be another huge year for generative AI – and one of the biggest stories could be Apple‘s AI upgrades for iOS 18 and the iPhone, which are reportedly still on track for an announcement at WWDC 2024 in June.
We’ve previously heard that Apple is planning to reveal AI boosts for Siri, Messages, Apple Music, Pages and more during its developer’s conference this year, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has confirmed that these announcements are still on track for a big unveiling at WWDC 2024.
The foundation for these upgrades is apparently a large language model (LLM) called Ajax, which Apple has seemingly been testing since early 2023. But what’s interesting about these latest rumors is how broadly Apple is apparently planning to apply its capabilities across hardware and software, and not just on the iPhone.
We’ve already heard that Apple is planning to give Siri a major brain transplant to make it more conversational, like ChatGPT – and that’s something it undoubtedly has to do in order to keep pace with AI rivals in 2024. But Gurman also claims that Apple is planning to add features like “auto-summarizing and auto-complete” to core apps like Pages and Keynote.
Arguably the biggest deal, though, is that Apple is apparently “working on a new version of Xcode and other development tools that build in AI for code completion” – If developers are able to harness AI to both write code and create new AI features, that could dramatically improve the quality of third-party apps on your iPhone. This follows the news in December that Apple had quietly released a new machine learning framework called MLX for Apple silicon.
The bad news? Gurman suggests that “the totality of Apple’s generative AI vision” won’t happen until at least 2025. Given how far behind Apple seemingly is with the technology that certainly seems likely, but we should at least get our first look at its next-gen AI upgrades in June at WWDC 2024.
What AI features could we see on iPhones?
Apple is reportedly spending over $1 billion a year on its big AI project – and while that isn’t much compared to the $100 billion it’s apparently spent developing the Apple Vision Pro, its mixed-reality headset that’s now very close to launch, it is a significant amount for software. So what treats might it bring to our iPhones?
The biggest is likely to be that long-rumored, next-gen Siri assistant. If you’re tried using ChatGPT’s free voice function on your iPhone, you’ll know that it’s a far more conversational voice assistant than Siri – albeit one that’s still prone to hallucinations.
Plug those kinds of skills into iOS 18 and we should get much-improved voice control of our iPhones, which should work particularly well if you have AirPods. In other words, not just staccato, two-sentence commands like cooking timers, but a genuinely smart assistant that can handle multiple requests simultaneously, like smart home commands, calendar summaries and more.
Elsewhere, we can expect to see AI appear in Messages to help answer questions and auto-complete our sentences. Apple has been using machine learning to improve the accuracy of the iOS keyboard for a few years now, so this would be a natural development of that work.
According to Gurman, Apple also plans to give Apple Music a major boost with AI features, for example by using it to “better automate playlist creation”. This would see Apple Music begin to catch up to Spotify, which has already been pushing out similar features, such as its AI DJ.
A few big questions remain about Apple’s AI announcements for WWDC 2024. Firstly, will Apple even refer to the new iOS 18 features as ‘AI-powered’? Previously, it’s avoided the term, sticking to the lesser-used (but often more accurate) ‘machine learning’.
Also, will its AI features only work on-device, or will some be bolstered by cloud processing? The Google Pixel 8’s new Video Boost with Night Sight feature relies on the extra power of the cloud, but Apple’s focus on privacy may see it stick to local processing. If so, will the new AI features be restricted to newer iPhones? And which models?
We should find out the answers to all of these questions and more in around five months’ time at WWDC 2024.
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AI Eclipse TLDR:
Apple is reportedly planning to announce AI upgrades for iOS 18 and the iPhone at the WWDC 2024 in June. The upgrades will include improvements to Siri, Messages, Apple Music, Pages, and more. These upgrades are based on a large language model called Ajax, which Apple has been testing since early 2023. The company is planning to apply these AI capabilities across hardware and software, not just on the iPhone. Apple aims to make Siri more conversational like ChatGPT and add features like auto-summarizing and auto-complete to core apps like Pages and Keynote. One of the significant developments is the introduction of AI for code completion in a new version of Xcode and other development tools, which could enhance the quality of third-party apps. However, the complete vision of Apple’s generative AI is not expected until 2025. Apple is reportedly spending over $1 billion per year on its AI project. The upgrades are expected to bring improved voice control, AI assistance in Messages, and enhanced automation in Apple Music. Some questions remain about whether Apple will refer to the new features as AI-powered and whether the AI features will work on-device or rely on cloud processing.