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Apple Unveils iOS 18: Enhancing Siri, Integrating AI and Customization Features

Apple WWDC special.

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APPLE WWDC SPECIAL

Apple's iOS 18 will incorporate Apple Intelligence with deeper customization and an improved Siri. New features will include AI capabilities powered by OpenAI, integration of ChatGPT, and a significant Siri overhaul offering more functionality. It will facilitate photo editing, mail rewriting, and prioritize notifications. The operating system will also include an option for typed Siri commands. The new functions will require an Apple A17 Pro chipset, and will be available for free on iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia this fall.

💡 Insight: Apple’s integration of advanced AI via Apple Intelligence introduces a competitive edge by leveraging both on-device and cloud-based processing, enhancing user experience while balancing privacy. The deeper integration of ChatGPT into Siri and RCS support in Messages addresses long-standing gaps, indicating a strategic alignment with market demand and regulatory pressures.

The partnership with OpenAi is likely more of a short-term solution for Apple while they play catch-up. Their holy grail would be not to use the cloud for AI-compute, but instead locally on the phone, which could lead to many consumers choosing to switch to a newer phone model.

Apple has announced RCS support in its Messages app, starting from iOS 18. The new standard, which features typing indicators, read receipts, longer messages, and support for higher-quality media, will replace SMS to improve communication between iOS and Android. This enhancement on the iPhone, likely influenced by EU regulator pressure, follows years of adoption by US wireless carriers.

Apple is set to upgrade its AirPods with new accessibility features such as Siri control through head movements and voice isolation to improve call quality. Personalized spatial audio also introduced, enabling support for games like 'Need for Speed Mobile' on iOS. Developers will also have access to a new API for personalized spatial audio.

Elon Musk threatens to ban Apple devices in his companies if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, citing a security violation. This announcement emerges amid an ongoing feud and competition over AI dominance with Apple.

Apple's recently unveiled artificial intelligence features received a muted response, impacting shares of key Asian suppliers like LG Innotek and Luxshare Precision Industry, both heavily reliant on Apple. Analysts noted no significant surprises from the event and maintained a pessimistic view on iPhone shipments for the year. Apple's stocks also dropped 1.9% following the AI presentation.

BRIEF

Google has completed its data centre and cloud region campus expansion in Singapore, pushing their total investment to $5 billion. With Singapore being one of only 11 countries where Google operates data centers and cloud regions globally, the move reinforces the country's position as a regional data hub. The center's establishment aligns with Singapore's National AI Strategy 2.0 and addresses the growing demands for cloud services. Google's emphasis on sustainability in its operations contributes to powering its key digital services and AI benefits. The company also invests in the local communities through eco-initiatives.

A growing body of research suggests that increasing scale, through more training data and greater computational power, may not entirely eliminate errors in AI models. Some flaws, like the difficulty in logical reasoning tasks and the tendency to hallucinate, are seemingly persistent. Despite advancements made with GPT-2, GPT-3, and most likely GPT-4, experts believe we can't confidently predict the capabilities of larger-scale language models. This underscores the importance of proceeding cautiously with AI development and recognising the necessity for thoughtful regulation.

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, will start using user data dating back to 2007 to train its AI tools, as part of a new privacy policy coming into effect June 26. Users in Australia cannot opt out of this policy, and many expressed concern, particularly among artists who worry about the impact on their livelihood. The news prompted a significant backlash, including a viral campaign under hashtag #noaiart and a surge in users migrating to alternative platforms like Cara.

OpenAI, the artificial intelligence startup, has filled its two-year-vacant CFO position with former Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, and appointed Kevin Weil, a former Instagram and Twitter executive, as the new chief product officer. The expanded leadership team comes as OpenAI looks to enhance its AI products and boost revenue through enterprise customer services while also addressing safety concerns about the commercialization of AI.

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