NYT: Apple’s AI Push to Focus on Siri →

Tripp Mickle, Brian X. Chen and Cade Metz:

Apple is expected to show off its A.I. work at its annual developers conference on June 10 when it releases an improved Siri that is more conversational and versatile, according to three people familiar with the company’s work, who didn’t have permission to speak publicly. Siri’s underlying technology will include a new generative A.I. system that will allow it to chat rather than respond to questions one at a time.


Apple executives worry that new A.I. technology threatens the company’s dominance of the global smartphone market because it has the potential to become the primary operating system, displacing the iPhone’s iOS software, said two people familiar with the thinking of Apple’s leadership, who didn’t have permission to speak publicly. This new technology could also create an ecosystem of A.I. apps, known as agents, that can order Ubers or make calendar appointments, undermining Apple’s App Store, which generates about $24 billion in annual sales.

While “AI apps and agents” are a ways off — ahem — Apple’s not wrong to think defensively about the iPhone as newer, younger technologies come on the scene.

There is one part of this article that jumped out at me, though:

Apple’s top software executives decided early last year that Siri, the company’s virtual assistant, needed a brain transplant.

The decision came after the executives Craig Federighi and John Giannandrea spent weeks testing OpenAI’s new chatbot, ChatGPT. The product’s use of generative artificial intelligence, which can write poetry, create computer code and answer complex questions, made Siri look antiquated, said two people familiar with the company’s work, who didn’t have permission to speak publicly.

I would bet money that Apple has known Siri needed serious work long before ChatGPT showed up on the scene. If not, then, in the words of Elon Musk… concerning.