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At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, Apple introduced Apple Intelligence, a personal intelligence system for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple is jumping on the generative AI bandwagon, but without delivering a wow moment.

Instead, Apple promises that "Apple Intelligence" will improve many products by mixing generative models with personal context. This includes new writing tools that can summarize, correct, and rewrite text; image and graphic generation, such as creating custom emoji from text; and improvements to Apple's virtual assistant, Siri.

One example of generative AI in Siri is the ability to help users find specific information by using their personal context. For example, if a user asks, "When does mom's flight land?", Siri can look up the flight details and match them with real-time flight tracking info to figure out the exact arrival time.

Siri can also better understand the content of apps like messages and act on that data when asked, such as automatically adding an address to a contact. The assistant also recognizes when subsequent requests are related to previous ones.


Availability is very limited: Apple Intelligence is a free feature of iOS 18, iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia, coming out in the fall. But the software will only be available at first as a beta and in US English and only for iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPad and Mac from M1. In addition, Siri and the device language must be set to US English.

Privacy before AI

As expected, Apple puts privacy first. Simple AI tasks should run right on the device. But for more complex queries, the computing is sent to the cloud - to special servers with Apple chips. Outside experts are supposed to make sure that no data is shared.

Apple's first external partner for generative AI is OpenAI. A basic version of ChatGPT powered by GPT-4o will be available for free in iOS18 starting this fall and will be integrated directly into some apps. According to Apple, no user input will be stored. Paying customers of OpenAI will also have access to ChatGPT's premium features. According to OpenAI, Siri "can also tap into ChatGPT’s intelligence when helpful."

ChatGPT ist direkt in den Schreibwerkzeugen von macOS verfügbar und hilft bei der Erstellung von Inhalten. Auch die Bildgenerierung ist direkt verfügbar.
ChatGPT is available directly in the MacOS writing tools and helps with content creation. Image generation is also directly available. | Image: Apple

Apple has held out the prospect of further partnerships with other AI companies. Google Gemini and other models may follow as an alternative to ChatGPT. Discussions with Google are reportedly ongoing.

Image: Sam Altman via X

Overall, the announcements are consistent with the many leaks over the past few weeks, and Apple is following the general trend of implementing generative AI in everything. While the features shown are not game-changing, they are better integrated into the overall system than Microsoft's offerings.


Whether "Apple Intelligence" can actually make users' lives easier, or whether it's just a collection of AI gimmicks, remains to be seen. In any case, Apple's show today suggests a slight evolution rather than a revolution.

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  • At WWDC 2024, Apple unveiled Apple Intelligence, a personalized AI system for iPhone, iPad and Mac that combines generative models with personal context to improve products such as writing tools, image creation and Siri.
  • Siri's new AI capabilities will make it more responsive to a user's personal context, such as finding flight information or understanding app content. Apple Intelligence will be available in beta in U.S. English only and on newer devices this fall.
  • As always, Apple is committed to privacy. Simple AI tasks will be performed directly on the device. For more complex queries, Apple uses dedicated servers powered by its own chips. Apple's external AI partners include OpenAI, whose ChatGPT will be integrated into iOS18 and macOS this fall.
Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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