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The rise of generative AI is sudden, and even Apple is overwhelmed by this fast-paced growth. That’s according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who claims Apple is now gearing up to catch up with its tech giant rivals. So, what should we expect from Apple in its AI projects? A lot… and they could come as soon as next year with the release of iOS 18.
According to Gurman, Apple plans “to develop features for its full range of devices.” This will be huge in case it is pushed since it seems the only prominent AI-related rollout it made this year is an enhanced auto-correct in iOS 17. In his Power On newsletter, Gurman notes, “Apple executives were caught off guard by the industry’s sudden AI fever and have been scrambling since late last year to make up for lost time.”
Gurman says that the initiatives continue, with the company testing the ability of its large language model called Ajax and internal chatbot “Apple GPT” on whether it could match competitors. Apple SVPs Craig Federighi, John Giannandrea, and Eddy Cue are leading the AI visions of the company.
Siri is one of the Apple products expected to receive the AI revamp. In September, a report shared that the voice assistant would get a significant integration with Shortcuts, allowing users to use the voice assistant to automate complex actions. Gurman’s report doesn’t share details on what specific parts of Siri would be improved, but says that the “smarter” Siri would be ready “as soon as next year.”
On the other hand, the report directly shares that the iOS 18 will be filled with AI features. These features, which now have official orders, are expected to use Apple’s own LLM. Aside from Siri, Gurman claims that this AI boost will also benefit the Messages field question and auto-complete sentence capabilities.
Apple Music is also getting an AI revamp through planned auto-generated playlists. Other Apple productivity apps (e.g., Keynote and Pages) will also be touched in the future, allowing the iPhone maker to better compete with the present AI integrations Microsoft introduced in its Microsoft 365 apps. AppleCare group will reportedly be improved as well.
Developers should be excited about this project as Apple is also preparing new AI capabilities for its development tools like Xcode. As per Gurman, generative AI is coming to these tools, allowing developers to write apps quickly. When that happens, Xcode should be able to compete with Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot.
In the end, while these plans are promising, Gurman notes that it is still a “debate” on whether Apple would use a cloud-based system or an on-device approach for its AI project. As such, it is believed the company would push for a combination of the two. According to a past report, the company sought professionals who could “compress and accelerate LLMs” in its on-device engine, allowing LLMs to work on handhelds. In another employment listing, the company shared plans to deliver “state of the art foundation models to the phone in your pocket, enabling the next generation of ML-based experiences in a privacy-preserving way.”