Apple AI is coming — and it could focus on these 3 things

iOS 18
(Image credit: Rafapress/Shutterstock)

We know that Apple is betting big on AI this year. The company has told us this, particularly after the launch of the iPad Pro M4, and will no doubt have plenty of things to talk about at WWDC 2024 in June. But we may know some details about Apple’s AI strategy already.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple’s strategy will follow three separate categories. This includes on-device and cloud-powered large language models (LLMs) and some kind of chatbot. The LLMs are set to be done in house by Apple, while the chatbot will be done by a third party — with Gurman tipping OpenAI and maybe Google as the ones powering it.

Gurman notes that Apple isn’t building its own chatbot, something we’ve heard before. In the past we heard it was because Apple’s chatbot wasn’t ready for the public. Gurman’s tweet suggests that Apple is instead approaching it the same way it does search. Because people want chatbots, and Apple isn’t able to provide one itself, it’s farming the responsibility out to another company.

Search on Apple devices defaults to Google right out of the box. While it is possible to switch to a different search engine, like Bing or DuckDuckGo, clearly that default position is enough that Google is willing to pay billions of dollars to stay as Apple’s go-to search provider.

For the Apple chatbot, Gurman is sure that OpenAI will be involved — and we’ve heard reports that the two could be close to finalizing a deal. Gurman notes that Google may also be involved, but it sounds like he isn’t sure about that. We have previously heard rumors that Gemini may be part of iOS 18, but more recently speculation has switched to OpenAI and ChatGPT instead. 

A report from The New York Times also notes that the upgraded version of Siri we’ve been hearing about will be “the core” of Apple’s AI strategy. Apparently Apple executives are worried that AI services like ChatGPT are making Siri look “antiquated” and there’s a fear that AI could threaten the iPhone’s market share by making it look like a “dumb brick” compared to its rivals.

The idea is to make Siri better at chatting, rather than simply responding to individual queries. That way it can handle various basic tasks more easily, including summarizing documents, creating appointments, setting timers and so on.

No doubt we'll hear more about Apple’s AI plans at WWDC next month — including plans for both chatbots and Siri in iOS 18 and macOS. Until then be sure to check out WWDC 2024 hub for all the latest rumors and updates around the conference.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.