Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Apple Introduces Advanced AI Features at WWDC


Apple and AI—it’s not a new story, but compared to the recent development of artificial intelligence, even the smartest tools at Apple seemed outdated and Siri only earned pitying smiles. So it was something of an industry’s worst-kept secret that Apple would undoubtedly pull out all the stops with AI at this year’s WWDC.

Apple Intelligence is here!

With “Apple Intelligence”, the Cupertino-based company has given its new platform for artificial intelligence a catchy name and flexed its muscles a little during the keynote speech when it comes to Siri’s new skills. The fact that Apple Intelligence is then abbreviated to AI is certainly no coincidence and yet another smart move from Apple

Let’s start by saying that Apple wants to enable users of iPhones, iPads, and Macs to do as much as possible locally on their devices. So when your emails are prioritized, photos are arranged into a memory album or texts are summarized, this happens on the hardware and your data does not end up in some cloud.

However, there are technical requirements for you to be able to enjoy this: your hardware needs at least an M1 or newer or, in the case of iPhones, the A17 Pro of the iPhone 15 Pro (review).

Siri on steroids

As expected, good old Siri has been significantly upgraded and is now not only back on par with the competition, but is nothing less than state of the art when it comes to smart assistance on mobile devices. Not only does Siri now look much prettier and should be able to understand and communicate much better and more naturally, Siri now also writes! So you have the choice of interacting by voice or typing, whereby you can start the chat with a double tap at the bottom of the iPhone or iPad.

iPhone with a glowing Siri edge
Siri now appears as a colorful glowing light that frames your display. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Siri understands context across all apps. For example, Siri was asked “Where am I meeting my mother for dinner?”. From this context, Siri not only recognizes which person is meant by “mother”, but also fishes out the desired restaurant date from a chat. So you don’t even need to have created an appointment in advance and Siri still knows exactly what information you need.

Siri writes

Siri also supports you when writing e-mails or other texts. It uses the same tricks that we already know from other LLMs. So if you write a long text, you can have it summarized afterwards. You can adapt the language style so that it suits the recipient better. If you feel like it, you can simply have this text reworded again and again until you like it perfectly.

Do you have a bad feeling about whether your text is error-free? Then let the AI proofread it before you send it. Siri as your writing assistant not only works with Apple’s own apps such as Mail, Notes or Pages, but also those from third parties.

Siri also opens apps, edits photos and explains every function on your device in detail if you wish. The new, improved Siri can also read the desired context from the display itself. So if you are reading the new address that a contact has sent you, all you need to do is say “Save the address in the contact card” and Siri knows what to do.

Private Cloud Compute

During the keynote, Apple repeatedly pointed out the important role that privacy plays, that Siri does many things locally and that it is now even more deeply integrated into the entire system. If an action does not take place on the device, you will be asked beforehand whether the data may be sent to special servers, where it will only be used for the exact action required and will not be saved. Apple calls this Private Cloud Compute and wants to establish it as the new standard. To prevent your data from being used for malicious purposes, Apple states that this data protection promise can be verified by independent experts.

Image Playground

Screenshot of the Image Playground function
The desired images are created in no time at all using the Image Playground. / © Apple/ Screenshot: nextpit

To spice up your communication, Apple Intelligence also brings the “Image Playground” to your device, where you can create images and choose between illustrations, animations, or sketches. You can use it directly in Messages, but you can also use it as a stand-alone app.

You can create images in no time at all by specifying various parameters. For example, enter the name of your chat partner, a birthday cake and a pirate ship and a drawing of your counterpart will be generated showing exactly what you want.

The function that probably every iPhone fan has been hoping for (I hope the irony is obvious!): You can now have emojis generated thanks to “Genmojis”. A zillion emojis is great, but doesn’t really capture what you want to express because there’s simply no sweating clown with a mustache holding a beer? Then Genmojis will solve this problem in the future. Brave new world!

Two newly created emojis on the iPhone
Yes, emoji poverty will soon be a thing of the past on devices with Apple Intelligence! / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

Apple Intelligence and Siri are also capable of a whole host of other tricks and, of course, it was pointed out at the keynote that this is just the beginning. I am also sure that we will get to know the new Siri even better over the course of WWDC. Other new features include the ability to change modes or activate the shutter release in the camera app, sort images, manage your Safari tabs, weight emails and much more.

It’s also nice to be able to use a search query such as “Show me all the photos of person X fishing” to not only call up the pictures, but also create albums from them, which then generate beautifully animated clips—with matching music, of course.

Siri will, of course, not only be available in its new impressive form on iPhones with the appropriate hardware and iOS 18, but also on compatible iPads and Macs. As you can imagine, we will be diving deep into the topic and familiarizing ourselves with the new tricks that Apple has given its devices today as quickly as possible.

So feel free to let us know in the comments if we can… oh wait, there was one more thing!

ChatGPT is coming to the iPhone!

It was rumored for a long time, but not everyone believed it: Apple is indeed securing the services of OpenAI, or rather GPT-4o. In the press release, Apple writes relatively unemotionally:

In addition, access to ChatGPT is integrated into Siri and the system-wide writing tools across all Apple platforms. This means that users can access the knowledge – and the ability to understand images and documents – without having to switch between tools.

There was a bit more ecstasy at the keynote. You’ll have to be patient a little longer, as the ChatGPT integration has been announced for “later in the year”. But hey, the new iPhones aren’t coming until later anyway, so let’s just wait and see. So ‘Siri and ChatGPT are doing things together and thus complementing Apple Intelligence to fall back on cloud connectivity where the local options are not sufficient.

A story is generated and illustrated using the ChatGPT prompt
Generating a bedtime story with matching pictures on the iPad? Soon possible thanks to ChatGPT integration. / © Apple / Screenshot: nextpit

A really nice example was shown in which a bedtime story was generated for a small child and even provided with matching pictures. We also saw an example in which ChatGPT told us which dish we could serve from the ingredients still available in a picture. But we mostly all know what ChatGPT can do, don’t we? Finally, it’s worth knowing that you don’t need an OpenAI account to use ChatGPT on the iPhone and that there are no costs involved.

I would rather not evaluate too much what exactly we’ve learned today (I’ll do that separately, I promise), but let’s just say that the whole AI game on mobile devices and how we deal with it has been completely turned on its head again today. I’m excited to see what else there is to learn in the coming days and, as I said, we’ll keep you up to date!

But please let us know in the comments if you were impressed by the presentation or if you secretly wished for something even more spectacular.



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