Apple is making a new and smarter Siri with AI technology. It started a bit quietly compared to its rivals. Two important people, John Giannandrea and Craig Federighi, are in charge of AI and software at Apple.
Apple’s AI Development
John Giannandrea’s team is creating new AI systems. They are making Siri smarter. This new Siri might come out next year, but it could take longer.
Craig Federighi’s team is also working to add AI to future versions of iOS. This will make Siri and the Messages app work better, giving improved responses and auto-completions.
While the teams are working, there have been ongoing discussions within the company about whether generative AI should be “on-device” or “cloud-based.” According to Bloomberg, having on-device AI would be faster and more private, but using cloud-based AI could enable more advanced features. Forbes suggests that in a cloud system, AI can excel because it has broader access to learn and grow from data.
According to Bloomberg, “There’s a lot of anxiety about this, and it’s seen as a significant oversight within the company.” They were referring to how Apple was caught off guard by the sudden rush to integrate AI technology.
During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this summer, Apple surprised many when CEO Tim Cook and other company leaders didn’t use the word “AI” even once.
From Quiet Beginnings to Cutting-Edge Innovations
But Apple’s lag doesn’t mean they haven’t been thinking of AI before this year: “We’ve been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years,” Cook told in August. Cook added that the company’s spending on research and development was up this year by about $3.12 billion more than at the same point last year due to increased spending on AI.
Apple has also been working on its own AI model “Ajax” which the company has used to power an internal chatbot that some employees call “Apple GPT,” as reported.
Back in September, insiders informed The Information that Ajax was trained using “over 200 billion parameters” and was stronger than OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.
Certainly, it’s important to note that although Apple hasn’t been as vocal about its AI efforts, the company primarily focuses on hardware. In the third quarter, a significant portion of Apple’s revenue, which amounted to over $81.8 billion, comes from hardware products. Specifically, the iPhone contributes a substantial $39.6 billion to that total.
Apple is working on enhancing Siri with AI, led by John Giannandrea and Craig Federighi. They’re improving Siri and iOS, with ongoing discussions about on-device vs. cloud-based AI. While Apple has been relatively late in AI, they’re investing in research and their “Ajax” AI model, aiming to catch up with industry leaders.