iOS 18 tipped to unleash powerful generative AI to fight ChatGPT

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With Apple's latest iOS 17 update going live last month, the company has already started working on its upcoming iOS 18 update for next year. And with it, we could see Apple debut its long-rumored ChatGPT rival for all of its best iPhones, if the latest leaks are to be believed. 

According to MacRumors, a new research note this week from industry analyst Jeff Pu, who covers Apple's supply chain for Haitong International Securities, suggests we could see the company's AI-powered chatbot launch as soon as late 2024.  Pu said his sources within the supply chain informed him Apple plans to build a few hundred AI servers in 2023, with even more expected by this time next year. With that timeline, generative AI features could feasibly make it into iOS 18 and the iPhone 16 when they launch later in 2024, which is much sooner than expected.

An earlier report revealed that Apple started testing what staff were internally referring to as Apple GPT as early as July. Pu believes the company will offer both cloud-based AI and so-called "edge AI," which involves more on-device data processing in a way that safeguards user privacy, MacRumors reports. 

Before you get too excited though, Pu cautioned that we'll need to be patient with Apple's AI rollout, as the company is carefully considering how to use and process personal data to avoid the same privacy pitfalls that have plagued AI-powered tech in recent months. And that, of course, will no doubt take time.

One of the most significant applications for these generative AI features could be coming to Siri. Last month, The Information reported Apple's plans to incorporate large language models into its virtual assistant to enable users to automate multi-step tasks with voice commands. For example, with a single voice command, Siri could take a series of photos and turn them into a GIF, then send that GIF to one of your contacts. The outlet claimed this feature is expected to come to iPhones via a software update sometime next year, which also hints at an iOS 18 launch. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.