Apple partners with OpenAI to unveil ‘Apple Intelligence’

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On Monday, Apple unveiled “Apple Intelligence,” a suite of new AI features for its popular devices, marking a significant step forward in its AI strategy. This launch, announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, includes a strategic partnership with OpenAI, known for its groundbreaking ChatGPT technology.

Apple’s move comes after months of pressure to demonstrate its commitment to AI, as competitors like Microsoft and Google have been rapidly advancing in this space. Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized that this development will elevate the experience of Apple products to unprecedented levels.

OpenAI, which revolutionized generative artificial intelligence with the introduction of ChatGPT in 2022, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman shared on social media, “We are very happy to be partnering with Apple to integrate ChatGPT into their devices later this year! Think you will really like it.”

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The new AI capabilities will be integrated into the upcoming iOS 18 operating system, also revealed at the week-long conference. Apple executives assured that privacy safeguards are embedded within Apple Intelligence, enabling enhancements to Siri and other products without compromising user data.

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Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, highlighted the privacy-centric approach: “The system puts powerful generative models right at the core of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It draws on your personal context to give you intelligence that’s most helpful and relevant for you, and it protects your privacy at every step.”

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However, not everyone welcomed the news. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, criticized the partnership, expressing concerns over data security and hinting at banning iPhones within his companies. “Apple has no clue what’s actually going on once they hand your data over to OpenAI. They’re selling you down the river,” Musk posted on social media. Musk is also developing a rival AI venture, xAI, and is currently in legal conflict with OpenAI, a company he co-founded in 2015.

Apple Intelligence, designed to run exclusively on the company’s proprietary technology, will offer innovative features like custom emoji creation from simple descriptions and generating brief summaries of emails. Siri will also receive an AI upgrade, appearing as a pulsating light on the home screen.

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Despite being a trailblazer over a decade ago, Siri has been seen as outdated compared to newer AI assistants like OpenAI’s GPT-4o. This latest iteration of Siri will allow users to enhance certain requests with ChatGPT, offering a seamless integration of AI capabilities.

The partnership with OpenAI is not exclusive, unlike Apple’s significant agreement with Google for search, which has attracted antitrust scrutiny. Apple plans to support additional AI models in the future, indicating a broader AI strategy.

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While this announcement signifies a bold step for Apple in the AI landscape, Wall Street remained cautious. Apple’s stock price dipped nearly two percent by Monday’s close, reflecting tempered investor enthusiasm amid the competitive AI market.

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