Apple, OpenAI Team Up to Enhance Siri with ChatGPT

Apple partners with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT, enhancing Siri and AI capabilities across devices.

By Athena Xu

6/10, 15:05 EDT
Apple Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • Apple partners with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its devices, enhancing Siri and personalizing user experiences.
  • Apple's new AI system, "Apple Intelligence," prioritizes privacy by running models locally on devices and servers.
  • Despite the announcement, Apple shares dipped 1.6%, reflecting investor concerns about its competitive position in AI.

Apple Partners with OpenAI

Apple announced a significant partnership with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into its devices, marking a strategic move to enhance its AI capabilities. This collaboration was revealed at Apple’s annual developer conference, where CEO Tim Cook emphasized that the iPhone maker’s “next big step” will be driven by generative AI and large language models. The integration aims to provide a smarter Siri voice assistant and more personalized features across Apple’s ecosystem.

Apple’s new AI system, dubbed “Apple Intelligence,” is designed to prioritize user privacy by running models locally on devices and on its own servers. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering, highlighted that the system is “aware of your personal data without collecting your personal data.” This approach contrasts with other tech giants that rely heavily on cloud-based AI processing.

The integration of ChatGPT will allow Siri to process more specific queries and offer a more natural interactive experience. Apple shares, however, dipped by about 1.6% following the announcement, reflecting investor concerns about the company’s position in the competitive AI landscape.

AI Strategy and Market Position

Apple’s entry into the generative AI race comes amid concerns that it has been lagging behind competitors like Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon, who have invested heavily in AI technologies. Analysts have noted that Apple needs to dispel the perception that it is behind in the AI race. Samik Chatterjee, a JPMorgan analyst, stated, “Apple needs to be able to say: ‘OK, we have caught up with the rest of the industry.’”

Historically, Apple has focused on perfecting existing technologies rather than pioneering new ones. This strategy has been successful with products like the iPod and iPhone. However, the rapid advancements in AI have put pressure on Apple to accelerate its AI initiatives. Leo Gebbie, an analyst at CCS Insight, remarked, “With AI, it does feel as though Apple has had its hand forced a little bit in terms of the timing.”

Apple’s competitive race in AI involves developing powerful chips, creating compelling applications, and securing access to advanced generative AI models. The company has built a team of top AI talent, led by former Google Brain executive John Giannandrea, and has developed chips like the A17 Pro, which exceed the 30 trillion operations per second benchmark necessary for AI applications.

Enhancing Siri and User Experience

One of the key areas where Apple plans to leverage generative AI is in enhancing Siri, its digital voice assistant. Siri, which has been around for over a decade, has faced criticism for its limited conversational abilities and failure to recognize various requests. The integration of ChatGPT aims to address these issues by providing a more contextually aware and interactive experience.

Apple’s new AI features will allow Siri to remember the context of previous interactions and perform more complex tasks. For example, Siri will be able to schedule a hike in Muir Woods if a user previously asked about the weather there. Additionally, Siri will be able to find and display specific photos and fill out forms using images stored on the device.

The company also announced improvements to its iPhone software system, including the ability to schedule messages, respond with more emojis, and send high-resolution images to Android smartphones. These updates are part of Apple’s broader plan to integrate AI into its products while maintaining user privacy.

Management Quotes

  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple:

    "Apple’s next big step will be driven by generative AI and large language models."

  • Craig Federighi, Senior Vice-President of Software Engineering at Apple:

    "It’s aware of your personal data without collecting your personal data."