Written by 22:27 Business

Apple’s Go-Slow A.I. Approach

After months of anticipation, Apple finally introduced its plan to infuse its products with artificial intelligence: Meet Apple Intelligence, which weaves the technology into core features of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

But while the tech giant announced a slew of new features, the announcement reflected a very Apple-like cautious approach to A.I. Yes, the company will add OpenAI’s ChatGPT to Siri — but it’s leaving the door open for adding other chatbots.

It all suggests that Apple is hedging its bets (or is simply behind its rivals), while slowly ramping up what A.I. will do for users.

OpenAI got its turn in the spotlight, as the only A.I. services provider name-checked at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. iPhone users will be able to direct queries to the latest version of ChatGPT if Siri can’t handle them on its own.

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s C.E.O., was at Monday’s event, but didn’t speak. He did post on X: “very happy to be partnering with apple to integrate chatgpt into their devices later this year! think you will really like it.”

But the partnership appears more limited than predicted:

  • ChatGPT will potentially get millions of new users — but it won’t store those queries, meaning that they can’t be used for training OpenAI’s models, and users’ internet addresses will be obscured.

  • Apple isn’t charging users extra for accessing ChatGPT. Our questions: Who is footing the bill, and how large is it?

  • And Craig Federighi, the iPhone maker’s software chief, said that the company would eventually bring in other A.I. models, probably including Google’s Gemini. That means OpenAI isn’t getting the kind of exclusive partnership that Google has as the default provider of search on iOS.

It does suggest that Elon Musk’s fulminations about OpenAI being tightly integrated with iOS — he has threatened to ban Apple devices from his companies if that happens — may be overblown.

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Last modified: 13 June 2024
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