Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Apple WWDC: iOS18 and Apple Intelligence Announcements

Apple WWDC: iOS18 and Apple Intelligence Announcements

At WWDC 2024 Apple unveiled "Apple Intelligence," a suite of AI features coming to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia. Apple’s aim with Apple Intelligence is to seamlessly integrate AI into the core of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac experience.

Siri is getting a significant AI upgrade in iOS 18. Apple promises a more natural, conversational experience, allowing you to speak to Siri in a more relaxed and familiar way. In a bold move, Apple is integrating OpenAI's ChatGPT into Siri and Writing Tools. This means Siri can tap into ChatGPT's vast knowledge base to answer complex questions or perform tasks that go beyond Siri's current capabilities.

Apple Intelligence aims to revolutionize writing across the Apple ecosystem. With "Writing Tools," users will be able to proofread, rewrite, and summarize emails, messages, and documents. These features will be available not only in Apple's own apps like Mail, Notes, and Pages, but also in third-party apps that adopt Apple's API.

Apple Intelligence also opens up new avenues for visual expression. "Image Playground" lets you create original, fun images in seconds. Choose from styles like animation, illustration, or sketch, and explore various concepts and themes.

Apple is also focusing on keeping users' data on their devices. The company highlights "on-device processing" as a core principle of Apple Intelligence, meaning that many of the AI models run directly on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This is a marked departure from competing AI services that rely heavily on cloud processing, potentially exposing user data to third parties.

On X, Andrej Karpathy, previously a director of AI at Tesla and part of the founding team at OpenAI, shared their thoughts on the announcement:

Actually, really liked the Apple Intelligence announcement. It must be a very exciting time at Apple as they layer AI on top of the entire OS. A few of the major themes.

Step 1 Multimodal I/O. Enable text/audio/image/video capability, both read and write. These are the native human APIs, so to speak.
Step 2 Agentic. Allow all parts of the OS and apps to inter-operate via "function calling"; kernel process LLM that can schedule and coordinate work across them given user queries.
Step 3 Frictionless. Fully integrate these features in a highly frictionless, fast, "always on", and contextual way. No going around copy pasting information, prompt engineering, or etc. Adapt the UI accordingly.
Step 4 Initiative. Don't perform a task given a prompt, anticipate the prompt, suggest, initiate.
Step 5 Delegation hierarchy. Move as much intelligence as you can on device (Apple Silicon very helpful and well-suited), but allow optional dispatch of work to cloud.
Step 6 Modularity. Allow the OS to access and support an entire and growing ecosystem of LLMs (e.g. ChatGPT announcement).
Step 7 Privacy. <3 

Apple acknowledged that some AI tasks require more processing power than a single device can offer. This is where "Private Cloud Compute" comes in. The company promises that data sent to Private Cloud Compute is encrypted, processed exclusively for your request, and then promptly deleted. The company says this means Apple itself doesn’t have access to your personal information.

Apple Security shared that “Private Cloud Compute continues Apple’s profound commitment to user privacy. With sophisticated technologies to satisfy our requirements of stateless computation, enforceable guarantees, no privileged access, non-targetability, and verifiable transparency, we believe Private Cloud Compute is nothing short of the world-leading security architecture for cloud AI compute at scale,” 

Some believe this may cause more phone sales for Apple. According to an industry note written by Wedbush Securities, a wealth management, brokerage and advisory firm based in LA, "The holy AI grail we see for Apple is twofold looking ahead: 1) As Apple’s AI strategy is rolled out this will catalyze a long awaited super cycle in Cupertino with 270 million iPhones of the 1.5 billion worldwide in the golden installed base not upgrading their smartphones in more than 4 years based on our estimates, 2) Developers will now build hundreds of apps on top of Apple’s AI stack in essence creating a new AI App Store over the coming years that will be the main way that consumers interact with generative AI".

Apple Intelligence will be available on iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and iPad and Mac with M1 and later, with Siri and device language set to U.S. English. Developers interested in learning more about Apple Intelligence can watch the keynote where it was presented. Developers can also refer to technical blogs on Apple Foundation Models or Private Cloud Compute.

About the Author

Rate this Article