“It’s Going to Be a Big Deal” – Will Cook Open the iPhone to AI?

At its developer conference, Apple traditionally previews upcoming features of its devices. This year, experts unsurprisingly expect AI to be the big thing. The question is, from which iPhone model will this technology be available?

Apple is expected to make a significant move in artificial intelligence at its WWDC developer conference this evening (starting at 7 PM CEST). According to media reports, in addition to its own developments, technology from ChatGPT creator OpenAI is also expected to be showcased. New features could include the ability for AI to create new emojis while typing a text, as reported by Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a big deal,” said CEO Tim Cook yesterday during a meeting with young developers about the WWDC plans.

At its in-house WWDC conference at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, the iPhone company traditionally provides a preview of software and features to be introduced with new device generations starting in the fall. This time, it is almost certain that artificial intelligence will play a central role. According to Bloomberg, one of the AI functions might summarize the content of missed messages or emails. This would be useful, for instance, if one hasn’t looked at their smartphone for a while. The iPhone is also expected to be able to pre-formulate responses for users, according to informed sources.

Apple’s voice assistant Siri, which now seems rather basic compared to chatbots like ChatGPT, is also expected to handle more tasks thanks to AI, Bloomberg reported. For example, users will be able to delete emails and edit photos using voice commands.

In recent weeks, both Google and Microsoft emphasized AI features at their developer conferences. Microsoft has already secured extensive access to OpenAI technology through a multi-billion-dollar deal. Google is partially supplementing search results in the U.S. with AI summaries, though the software initially made some errors, such as recommending eating a small stone every day. So far, Apple has limited the use of AI in its devices mostly to individual functions like enhancing photos and videos.

A key question will be from which iPhone generation the various AI features will be usable. According to Bloomberg, many of them will require one of this year’s models or at least an iPhone 15 Pro from 2023. If the AI innovations prove popular, it could accelerate customer upgrades to new devices. The iPhone is by far Apple’s most important product, generating more than half of its revenue and driving the business with apps and subscriptions.