Apple could unveil revamped Siri with generative AI at WWDC — here’s the key upgrades

 Siri Voysis.
Siri Voysis.

Apple's strategy for incorporating AI is slowly coming to light, and it's becoming increasingly clear that a revamped Siri 2.0 packed with generative AI features is at the center of that road map.

Siri's new AI future is set to kick off at Apple's next developer conference, WWDC 2024, in June, according to The New York Times. The outlet spoke with several top software executives at Apple who outlined the company's plans to develop its own AI technology to keep up with competitors like Meta, Google, and Microsoft. It's all part of a deeper cultural shift at Apple to bring AI to the forefront, as we saw with Apple's announcement at its recent Let Loose event that all Apple laptops going forward will be powered by the AI-ready M4 chip.

At its WWDC keynote on June 10, Apple is expected to reveal a series of AI tools, including an improved version of ‌Siri‌ that uses generative AI to be more conversational and capable, with the ability to "chat" with users instead of just responding to individual queries. Apple's virtual digital assistant will also be able to respond to more queries with a direct answer instead of pulling up three excerpts from different websites — something Google Assistant already does.

Apple plans to market this revamped version of ‌Siri‌ as a more security-focused alternative to rival AI services, according to the Times. Unlike its competitors, Apple's AI will reportedly use on-device processing and a large language model running locally rather than in the cloud, giving it an edge in terms of privacy protection.

Apple is also working to improve how Siri handles tasks such as setting timers, creating calendar appointments, adding items to Reminders, and summarizing text. Rumor has it the iPhone maker could bring real-time transcription to the Voice Memos and Notes apps, giving users the option to see a live transcription of audio recordings instead of having to relisten to recordings.

WWDC 2024 logo from Apple
WWDC 2024 logo from Apple

Sometime early last year, Apple's top executives decided to revamp Siri with a focus on AI after Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and Senior Vice President of Machine Learning and AI Strategy John Giannandrea spent several weeks testing OpenAI's ChatGPT, the Times reports. The Siri team concluded that Apple's virtual assistant, originally introduced in 2011, looked antiquated by comparison.

However, the ‌Siri‌ team has failed to receive attention and resources compared to other groups inside Apple, said John Burkey, who worked on Siri for two years before founding a generative A.I. platform, in an interview with the outlet. The company has also struggled to hire and retain leading AI researchers.

We'll have to wait until WWDC 2024 to learn more, but overall it looks like Apple's making a dramatic shift toward AI to catch up to the rest of the tech industry. There we're also likely to see the release of iOS 18, updates with iPadOS, watchOS, HomeKit, and more. Be sure to check out our WWDC 2024 news round-up for all the rumors ahead of Apple's big shindig.

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