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May 31, 2024

Apple’s Siri Upgrade: The Future of Voice-Controlled App Functions

Apple Inc. is gearing up to revolutionize its Siri virtual assistant by integrating advanced artificial intelligence, enabling users to control app functions through voice commands. This significant upgrade is expected to be one of the highlights of Apple’s comprehensive AI strategy, which will be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10.

A Major Overhaul for Siri

For the first time, Siri will be able to command all features within apps, marking a departure from its current limitations of executing broader commands like playing music playlists, searching for information, or managing smart home devices. According to sources familiar with the development, this transformation necessitated a complete revamp of Siri’s underlying software, incorporating large language models, a core technology behind generative AI.

AI-Driven Functionality

The upgraded Siri will use AI to analyze user activities on their devices, automatically enabling voice-controlled features. Initially, this functionality will be exclusive to Apple’s own apps, supporting hundreds of different commands. Users will be able to perform precise actions such as opening specific documents, moving notes to different folders, sending or deleting emails, and summarizing articles.

A key component of the new system is its ability to decide whether a function should be processed on the device itself or via cloud computing. Basic AI tasks will be handled locally, enhancing privacy and efficiency, while more advanced capabilities will leverage cloud resources.

Integration with OpenAI and Future Collaborations

Apple is also exploring partnerships to enhance its AI offerings. The company is in discussions with OpenAI to integrate its chatbot technology into iOS and is considering using Alphabet Inc.’s Gemini software in the future. These collaborations aim to enrich the AI capabilities of Apple devices, making them more versatile and powerful.

Addressing Privacy Concerns

While the on-device processing of tasks ensures that personal information remains secure, cloud-based operations will require some data transfer to remote servers. Apple plans to mitigate privacy concerns by utilizing the Secure Enclave in its high-end Mac chips for data protection. Additionally, Apple will release an “intelligence report” detailing how user data is secured, emphasizing that it will not create customer profiles, a practice it has criticized competitors like Google and Meta Platforms Inc. for.

Future Prospects

The new Siri is poised to handle single commands initially, but Apple has plans to enable command chaining. For example, users could ask Siri to summarize a recorded meeting and then text it to a colleague in one seamless request. This feature will be part of a broader update to iOS 18, expected to launch next year.

A Response to Market Challenges

This ambitious upgrade comes at a critical time for Apple, which has faced a slowdown in sales and underperformed compared to its peers in the tech sector. By enhancing the AI capabilities of its devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple hopes to encourage users to upgrade to the latest models. Many of the new AI features will require the latest hardware, such as the iPhone 15 Pro or devices with at least an M1 chip.

A Step Ahead in the AI Race

Apple’s Siri, introduced in 2011, was a pioneer in voice-based interfaces and AI. However, it lost ground to competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The recent surge in generative AI chatbots further highlighted Siri’s lagging capabilities. The upcoming enhancements aim to restore Siri’s competitive edge, showcasing Apple’s commitment to leading in AI innovation.

As Apple prepares for its grand AI reveal at the WWDC, the tech world eagerly anticipates how these advancements will redefine user interaction with devices. The Siri upgrade represents a significant leap forward, promising a more intuitive, efficient, and intelligent digital assistant for Apple users.

Read More News at R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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