Apple reportedly close to a deal with OpenAI — could ChatGPT be the new Siri?

Siri
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple has been linked to every artificial intelligence lab over the past few months from Google Gemini to China’s Baidu. But the latest reports suggest it is near to finalizing an agreement with ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the deal will see Apple get the rights to use OpenAI technology in its own products and services, which means Siri 2.0 could actually be a rebranded ChatGPT — much as Microsoft has done with Windows Copilot.

I suspect what we’re seeing is a snapshot of a much bigger picture, with OpenAI working with a range of AI labs, including its own growing research division, to ensure it has the best possible AI features across its products.

What will the Apple-OpenAI deal entail?

M4 Neural Engine

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has previously hinted that it would run new Siri features and many of the AI functionality “on-device," with CEO Tim Cook touting Apple’s unique position of being able to offer hardware and software interlinked. For example, the new M4 chip powering iPad Pro is the best AI chip available today.

Gurman says talks are also continuing with Google and the OpenAI deal will allow Apple “to use ChatGPT features in Apple’s iOS 18, the next iPhone operating system.” His sources are anonymous insiders.

The agreement could be anything from giving ChatGPT deeper access to iOS systems than is normally possible for a third-party app, but keeping it as a stand alone app — through to Apple going all-in and replacing Siri with a version of ChatGPT built for iPhone.

The reality is likely somewhere in the middle, with Apple maintaining control over Siri, upgrading it using some of its own in-house and on-device models but using models like Whisper and DALL-E from OpenAI to offer more advanced generative features. 

What about the OpenAI event?

A phone with the ChatGPT logo and a laptop with the OpenAI logo

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

OpenAI is about to hold its own event, promising ChatGPT and GPT-4 updates, although CEO Sam Altman said what they plan to reveal feels like “magic," leading many to speculate we’ll see a new voice assistant.

This would be more advanced than anything released by Apple, Amazon or Google and offer true natural conversations. This could be an indication of what we might see from an Apple partnership. I suspect Altman will be on stage at WWDC in June

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?