Recent developments suggest Apple was somewhat taken aback by the rapid rise of generative AI tools this year. Yet, the tech behemoth isn’t one to stay behind. Top executives at Apple, including SVPs Craig Federighi, John Giannandrea, and Eddy Cue, are reportedly steering the integration of AI-driven functionalities into Apple’s vast portfolio.
Come iOS 18, users can anticipate an array of new AI capabilities. One of the highlights is enhanced reply suggestions in the Messages app. Apple Music isn’t left untouched, either. Eddy Cue is fervently advocating for AI-created playlists, and Apple’s staple productivity apps like Pages and Keynote are under scrutiny to gauge how generative AI can elevate their utility. A pivotal advancement is in the pipeline from Giannandrea’s team – a revamped and more intelligent Siri, projected to be unveiled next year.
For Apple, AI isn’t just a fleeting trend. As per Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company considers the incorporation of AI into end-user tools as one of its chief aims, particularly as it strives to match rivals such as OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft. This dedication is evident in its financial commitment; Apple is slated to allocate approximately $1 billion annually towards AI-centric research and product evolution.
But it’s not just about end-user products. Developers are in for a treat, too. Apple is evaluating potential AI enhancements for Xcode, likely to encapsulate advanced code completion mirroring the capabilities of GitHub Copilot. Moreover, Apple envisions an AI-driven overhaul for its internal AppleCare tools.
However, the journey isn’t without its challenges. Apple’s internal teams are grappling with a critical decision – whether to anchor these AI functionalities on-device or leverage Apple’s cloud services. While on-device AI champions user privacy, deploying expansive language models on a server farm can unlock far more intricate features. Gurman hints that Apple might not have a one-size-fits-all solution.
Instead, choices will be made individually, with certain features confined to devices and others drawing from cloud infrastructure.