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Apple's Siri Assistant Could Get a Massive AI-Charged Revamp at WWDC 2024: Report

As per the report, Apple could use AI models to make Siri more conversational.

Apple's Siri Assistant Could Get a Massive AI-Charged Revamp at WWDC 2024: Report

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Omid Armin

Apple reportedly wants to use AI to make Siri better at its tasks instead of giving it new capabilities

Highlights
  • Reportedly, Apple looks at AI chatbots as a threat to Siri
  • Apple could increase memory in the iPhone this year to support new Siri
  • It is said to keep Siri entirely on-device instead of running on servers
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Apple could introduce the biggest revamp to its native virtual assistant Siri since its launch at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024. The Cupertino-based tech giant is rumoured to unveil its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy and introduce new features for its devices. As per a new report, the central piece of this move will be making Siri smarter and more efficient. The iPhone maker is expected to use either in-house AI models or licence them from a third-party source to improve Siri's capabilities.

According to a report by the New York Times, top executives at Apple made the decision last year that its virtual assistant needs a major revamp to stay relevant. The realisation came as AI chatbots such as OpenAI's ChatGPT showcased the diverse range of tasks they can complete. The inclusion of the contextual understanding of language, which allowed users to make vague queries and still get the right response, was also considered a significant upgrade. Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the report highlighted that Apple is working on adding AI capabilities to Siri.

The report highlighted that improving Siri has become a “tent pole project” at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, which refers to a “once-in-a-decade” initiative in the company. It is said that the company is now gearing up to showcase the new Siri at the WWDC 2024 event on June 10. Two focus areas to improve Siri include conversational language and versatility of tasks, the report mentioned. However, it is believed that the tech giant does not want its virtual assistant to turn into another AI-powered chatbot.

It is believed that instead of turning Siri into a generalist chatbot capable of generating poetry and essays, its output will be controlled and limited to the tasks it already does, but with significant improvements. Users might be able to ask follow-up questions without repeating all the information, something Siri is not capable of currently. It might also be able to perform more tasks across the device. These details are not known at present.

However, it is said that Apple intends to keep Siri private and run it entirely on-device. This means the iPhone maker will be limited to its on-device neural processing unit (NPU) to power the computing and minimise the latency issues. This is interesting given an earlier report claimed that Apple is also working on building AI chips for its data centres.

The NY Times report claims Apple's decision to not rely on cloud servers comes from cost-effectiveness. Highlighting an example, it said OpenAI is forced to spend 12 cents (roughly Rs. 16) for every 1,000 words generated by ChatGPT due to cloud computing costs. Apple might be able to circumvent this expense by keeping the feature within the device.

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Akash Dutta
Akash Dutta is a Senior Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He is particularly interested in the social impact of technological developments and loves reading about emerging fields such as AI, metaverse, and fediverse. In his free time, he can be seen supporting his favourite football club - Chelsea, watching movies and anime, and sharing passionate opinions on food. More
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