Apple partners with OpenAI to introduce 'Apple Intelligence'

For months, Apple has been under pressure to convince doubters of its AI strategy after Microsoft and Google released products in quick succession.

Apple has unveiled "Apple Intelligence," a set of new artificial intelligence features for its coveted devices, including a partnership with OpenAI. The company's goal is to catch up with its rivals who are racing to adopt this hot technology.

For months, Apple has been under pressure to convince doubters of its AI strategy after Microsoft and Google released products in quick succession.

But this latest move will take the Apple product experience "to new heights," Chief Executive Tim Cook said as he opened the annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the tech giant's headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Cupertino, California.

To this end, Apple partnered with OpenAI, which in 2022 ushered in a new era for generative artificial intelligence with the advent of ChatGPT.

OpenAI is “excited to partner with Apple to integrate ChatGPT into their devices later this year! I think you'll really like it," the company's boss, Sam Altman, wrote on social media.

"Apple Intelligence" will also be added to the new version of the iOS 18 operating system, presented in a similar way on Monday during the weekly conference.

Apple executives emphasized that privacy safeguards are built into Apple Intelligence to make the digital assistant Siri and other products smarter while not stealing user data.

Apple's big challenge, analysts say, is how to implement ChatGPT-like artificial intelligence -- which voraciously feeds on data -- into its products without undermining its much-vaunted user privacy and security.

The system "puts powerful generative models at the core of your iPhone, iPad and Mac," says Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi.

"It builds on your personal context to provide you with information that is most useful and relevant to you, and protects your personal data every step of the way."

In particular, "Apple Intelligence" will allow users to create their own emoji based on a description in everyday language or generate short summaries of emails in the mailbox.

Users will be able to make their requests to Siri in written or spoken form.

AI improvements also include integrating ChatGPT with operating system models later this year, Federighi said.

"It sounds like it's Apple -- then if it needs ChatGPT, it's going to offer it to you," Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart said.

"The performance is what's special here."

Silicon Valley is convinced that generative AI will fundamentally change the way users interact with smartphones and computers, but the technology is still in its early stages and its benefits are not yet fully clear.

The WWDC announcements set the stage for the expected launch of the iPhone 16 later in the year and open the door to a "growth renaissance" for the company, said Wedbush Securities senior analyst Daniel Ives.

Cook signaled its commitment to AI by putting more powerful, AI-ready chips into iPads and MacBooks earlier this year. | BGNES