Siri is Set to Receive ChatGPT-Like Features with an Emphasis on Privacy


Siri is on the verge of a significant AI transformation, and Apple is gearing up to put its own distinctive spin on the concept of a chatbot. This anticipated enhancement comes at an opportune moment.

With the release of iOS 18, the upcoming update to the iPhone operating system this fall, Apple is contemplating a revamp of Siri, incorporating a large-language model (LLM), often misleadingly referred to as AI.

Siri has long been criticized for its lack of reliability, accuracy, and understanding of user queries. The integration of a ChatGPT-style bot would represent a substantial improvement.

However, Apple, known for its commitment to privacy and copyright adherence, is steering clear of adopting a privacy-compromising, copyright-disregarding server-side behemoth – a deviation from the Apple Way.

Adrienne Hunter Wong, lead designer for AI products at Khan Academy, highlighted the challenges faced by current conversational features like Siri. Wong noted, “Up to now, conversational features like Siri are notorious for false positives.

They assume intent and then respond to the question they think you’re asking. They also have a difficult time completing requests if you don’t ask them in a specific way, with rigid language.”

Siri to Receive ChatGPT-Like Features

Apple is unlikely to let Siri become an unrestrained conversational entity that could potentially persuade users to make life-altering decisions.

However, acknowledging Siri’s lag behind competitors, Apple is compelled to enhance its capabilities by incorporating some form of LLM functionality into its voice assistant.

AI chatbots excel at understanding user intentions with precision and speed, even though their shortcomings lie in generating accurate responses.

While AI chatbots might falter in providing accurate information, often fabricating facts and displaying defensive behavior, Apple is poised to avoid such pitfalls.

The tech giant is keen on preventing security vulnerabilities, as evidenced by instances on Mastodon where chatbots were exploited through code manipulation.

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What to Expect from Siri

Anticipate an evolution of Siri’s existing functionalities, but with a considerable upgrade.

Apple has been at the forefront of utilizing machine learning (formerly known as AI) in various aspects of the iPhone, leveraging the Neural Engine chip for tasks like facial recognition in photos, spelling correction, and applying depth effects to images.

Siri, which currently lags behind AI chatbots like Bard or ChatGPT, will need to bridge the gap in functionality.

Adrienne Hunter Wong envisions Siri as a truly native conversational AI experience deeply integrated into commonly used apps.

Wong suggests that Apple’s enhanced Siri may even possess the capability to understand how to connect different apps, allowing users to, for example, instruct Siri to set a timer for 60 minutes and then send a text message when the timer expires.

Siri Ascending to New Heights

The realm of AI presents Apple with an unprecedented opportunity to enhance not just Siri but the overall iPhone user experience.

Envision Siri comprehending and retaining your conversations, enabling seamless follow-up questions and commands without the need to restart every interaction.

Picture Siri delving into your photos, calendar, reminders, and Safari history to provide more pertinent responses.

The standout feature in Apple’s probable implementation of conversational AI is privacy. The majority, if not all, of these processes will occur directly on your iPhone rather than on Apple servers.

This means you can rest assured that your private data remains secure on your device, eliminating concerns about external access—it’s your phone, a device you already trust.

This achievable feat is made possible by the robust Neural Engine embedded in all Apple M-series chips. Additionally, the local processing on your phone ensures a faster response time.

However, considering this is still Siri, the actual functionality remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, Apple holds a significant advantage; Siri’s existing shortcomings are such that any improvement, even incremental, would be a considerable step forward.


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