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More Advanced AI Siri Functionality Not Coming to iOS 18 Until 2025

Apple is planning a major AI overhaul for Siri in iOS 18, and Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says that the update will let ‌Siri‌ control all individual features in apps for the first time, expanding the range of functions the personal assistant can perform.

‌Siri‌ will be able to do things like open specific documents, move a note from one folder to another, delete an email, summarize an article, email a web link, and open a particular news site in Apple News. Apple plans to use AI to analyze what people are doing on their devices, automatically enabling ‌Siri‌ features.

To make this happen, Apple engineers had to rearchitect ‌Siri‌’s underlying software with large language models or LLMs, which is also the technology that’s been used for chatbots like ChatGPT. Apple has been working on a deal with OpenAI to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology into ‌iOS 18‌, and it is also in talks with Google about incorporating Gemini, but ‌Siri‌ functionality likely relies on Apple’s own LLM work.

At launch, the new ‌Siri‌ functionality will be limited to Apple apps, and ‌Siri‌ will only be able to respond to one command at a time. Eventually, Apple wants ‌Siri‌ to be able to respond to multiple commands, such as capturing a photo and then sending it to someone in a message.

While the ‌Siri‌ features will be introduced at WWDC 2024, Apple reportedly does not plan to launch them in September when ‌iOS 18‌ sees an initial release. Instead, ‌Siri‌ will be overhauled in a future ‌iOS 18‌ update that’s set to be introduced in 2025.

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Basic AI tasks in ‌iOS 18‌ will be processed on device, but more advanced capabilities will rely on Apple’s cloud servers. Gurman previously said that Apple would power all of the initial ‌iOS 18‌ features on-device without relying on cloud technology in order to preserve privacy, but rumors have shifted in recent weeks. Part of Apple’s new ‌Siri‌ technology will include code for determining whether a request can be processed on device or requires Apple’s servers. On-device ‌iOS 18‌ AI capabilities will largely require an iPhone 15 Pro or later to work, and an M1 or later for iPadOS 18 and macOS 15.

According to The Information, Apple’s AI servers will be powered by M2 Ultra and M4 chips, with Apple planning to use the Secure Enclave to “to help isolate the data being processed on its servers so that it can’t be seen by the wider system or Apple.” Gurman says that Apple will also provide customers with an “intelligent report” that explains how information is kept safe.

We’ll hear all about the AI functionality coming to ‌Siri‌ in just over 10 days. ‌WWDC 2024‌ is set to begin on Monday, June 10.

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