“The biggest innovation of the decade”: this is everything that comes with iOS 18, macOS 15 and the new Siri 2

We’re about to witness Apple’s biggest technological innovation in years (with advancements from the Vision Pro)

Everything that comes with iOS 18 macOS 15 and the new Siri 2

WWDC 2024 is approaching and all the rumors we have had this year point to Apple definitely integrating Artificial Intelligence into a good part of its ecosystem. From iOS 18, through macOS 15 and feeding a new version of Siri that is smarter and capable of understanding us better.

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The bar is very high if we look at last year’s WWDC, and Apple presented the world with the Apple Vision Pro, one of the most important “One More Things” in recent years and that begins the era of space computing. This year the eyes are on AI, and if we look at everything Apple has worked on, we will be in front of one of the great innovations of the decade within Apple.

Apple has labs designed to train AI

It’s no secret that Apple has a great team of engineers to develop its own AI. In fact, on the same website of Apple executives we find John Giannandrea. He is Apple’s senior vice president of machine learning and AI strategy. Above him is only Tim Cook and he joined Apple in 2018. Prior to that, John spent eight years at Google, where he led the AI teams. He currently oversees the AI and machine learning strategy developing Core ML and Siri technologies.

Lab at Apple Park
Lab at Apple Park

And although we talk a lot about AI now, Apple teams are prepared (and making use of it) from the iPhone X. Thanks to AI, the first iPhone with Face ID learned from our face and changes. More beard, a haircut, being with or without glasses. Today, applications such as Photos also rely on artificial intelligence to recognize objects and animals. So the leap to smarter AI is not something new for Apple, just an evolution that has intensified in the last two years and will have its greatest exponent at WWDC 2024.

The Apple GPT used by some employees internally and under authorization

Although Apple will probably never use “Apple GPT” as a commercial name, according to Mark Gurman, since 2023 Apple has been training its own internal Chatbot with more than 200 billion commands. In late 2023, Gurman’s sources claimed that Apple’s AI was more capable than ChatGPT 3.5. Currently, with ChatGPT 4 among us, it is unknown if the intelligence threshold has been exceeded.

Internally it is called the Ajax project, and it is one of the longest in the making at Apple. Some engineers have special permission to use it and use it for prototyping, being able to answer questions about the data it was fed with.

As for Apple employees, they have been banned from using tools such as ChatGPT or Copilot for fear that confidential company data could be leaked. This applies to all employees, whether or not they are participating in the development of the Ajax project.

Apple employees are banned from using ChatGPT
Apple employees are banned from using ChatGPT

If we look at the approximate value of Apple’s investment in AI, more than four billion dollars would have been invested in AI servers in 2024 alone. And although the strategy on this ChatBot is not clear, everything points to it serving to improve Siri like never before.

The arrival of Siri 2.0

Siri made its debut in 2011. At that time, we were all amazed at what it was possible to do with our voice. Who hasn’t joked with her and asked her to tell them stories, right? The reality today is different, and Siri has been somewhat stuck in time and with a lack of answers to many of our questions.

Building a new Siri has taken years because of how it was built from the start. Because yes, Siri was bought by Apple and later adapted to its devices. So much so, that in its beginnings it was available in the Google Play Store for Android users.

The former Siri engineer told the New York Times that Siri had a cumbersome design. Simply adding new phrases required rebuilding the Siri database. The result is that to include a response to a new phrase, it could take up to six weeks. If what Apple was looking for was to add more complex features, such as searching for information, it could delay development to more than a year.

That is why Siri has been “somewhat stopped” in recent years. And the fact is that the working method it required was unsustainable. As a result of the advancement of artificial intelligence languages, Siri would have been the first to benefit from receiving Apple’s future AI. So much so, that the goal from Cupertino is for Siri to be able to interact with complex questions and complete sentences automatically. By truly understanding what we are saying, and not by searching its database for the keyword we have told it to trigger an action.

Siri could integrate with ChatGPT
Siri could integrate with ChatGPT

The next unknown is whether Siri will work based on Apple’s internal development, or will rely on third-party Artificial Intelligence such as OpenAI or Google. This is where we come to the next section of Apple’s agreements with different companies of global significance.

Possible allies to take Apple’s AI to the top

While we’ve seen Apple train its own “Apple GPT,” there are numerous rumors claiming that Apple is in talks with Google to integrate Gemini with iOS 18. Apple would require a partner for cloud-based generative AI features. Something similar is happening today with iCloud. This is an Apple service, but it is hosted on Amazon Web Services servers.

In addition to Google, there are strong rumors that Apple is also in talks with OpenAI to push iOS 18 features. Regarding the Chinese market, the partnership would be with Baidu since restrictions between China and the United States prohibit the use of AI services outside their country.

Finally, Apple has bought millions of images from Shutterstock to train its AI languages and has also reportedly sought an agreement with Photobucket to use the more than thirteen billion images and videos it owns.

Apple’s artificial intelligence that will come to your applications

Once the agreements were closed, Apple’s intention has been to integrate AI into as many applications as possible. For example, in Apple Music, automatic playlists would be generated that are much more in line with our tastes. In Pages or Keynote we could create documents and presentations based on instructions given. Safari would also take advantage of AI to create automatic summaries of what we are reading on the internet.

Safari will make summaries similar to those already made by the Arc browser
Safari will make summaries similar to those already made by the Arc browser

Up to fifteen apps are rumored to take advantage of Apple’s AI. Another good example would be Voice Memos, which would be integrated with the Notes App to transcribe the audios we have recorded and convert them to text.

These features would come to the iPhone with iOS 18, the iPad with iPadOS 18, and the Mac with macOS 15. The most interesting thing is that they will work completely on the device without the need for an internet connection to protect the user’s privacy.

A few days to understand Apple’s entire plan

Apple’s own CEO said that the potential of artificial intelligence is very interesting. Although he also mentioned that it was necessary to be deliberate and thoughtful when deciding how and when AI should be used. On the other hand, Apple’s chief marketing officer, Greg Joswiak, said that WWDC will be “Absolutely Amazing.” Yes, with capital letters, pointing to and highlighting “AI”, the acronym for artificial intelligence.

Greg Joswiak's post highlighting AI lettering
Greg Joswiak’s post highlighting AI lettering

If we add all these hints by Apple’s top executives, plus the development team that has been working on AI since 2018 under the leadership of John Giannandrea, plus the rumors of partnerships with Google and OpenAI, the result may be an implementation of new features in all operating systems and Siri at levels never seen before. So we should prepare ourselves to live another historic moment at WWDC 2024.



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