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Apple is now in the AI business with the release of Apple Intelligence for iPhone, iPad, and MacOS. But was it worth the wait? Here’s what you need to know…



TL;DR

Apple Intelligence TL;DR 🧠

  • ✨ Apple’s new AI platform across devices
  • 🤖 Generative AI for writing, images & more
  • 🔒 Strong focus on privacy & on-device processing
  • 💬 Smarter Siri with natural language & context
  • 🖼️ Image Playground for creative expression
  • 📷 Photo enhancements & intelligent search
  • 📱 Available on iPhone 15 Pro, M1/M2 iPads & Macs
  • ⚠️ Concerns over ChatGPT integration & data privacy
  • 📅 Public release in late 2024 with iPhone 16


This groundbreaking technology promises to revolutionize the way users interact with their Apple devices, offering a range of generative AI features, an improved Siri assistant, and much more.

From its capabilities and privacy features to its availability and compatibility with various Apple devices, we’ll cover everything you need to know below.

Let’s dig in…

What is Apple Intelligence?


Apple Intelligence is a multimodal, cross-platform AI computing system that spans across most newer Apple devices and platforms. It encompasses generative AI features for writing, image creation, and organization, as well as an enhanced Siri assistant.

Apple Intelligence takes a unique approach to privacy, ensuring that the least amount of information possible is shared with anyone, including Apple itself.

Privacy First

One of the key aspects that sets Apple Intelligence apart from other AI platforms is its strong focus on privacy.

Apple has designed Apple Intelligence to run most features directly on the user’s device, minimizing the need for cloud computing. W

hen cloud power is required, Apple employs its Power Cloud Compute standard, which ensures that data remains protected and does not spread between multiple servers and platforms.

Apple Intelligence will have unprecedented access to user data, including messages, calendar, Maps, location, phone calls, photos, and other personal information. This level of access enables Apple Intelligence to provide highly contextual features tailored to each user’s needs.

Apple Intelligence Concerns: Data Privacy & Security

While Apple has emphasized its commitment to privacy protection with Apple Intelligence, some concerns have been raised regarding the integration of OpenAI’s ChatGPT into iOS18.

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, has faced criticism in the past for its handling of privacy issues.

As ChatGPT is now deeply integrated into Apple’s latest operating system, questions have arisen about how user data will be protected when interacting with the AI model.

Elon Musk has expressed strong opposition to Apple’s integration of OpenAI at the OS level.

He went as far as saying he would boycott Apple products completely, calling it an “unacceptable security violation.”

Musk also stated that he would ban the use of Apple devices at his company, requiring visitors to store their devices in a Faraday cage upon entry.

This extreme reaction highlights the gravity of the concerns surrounding data privacy and security when it comes to the collaboration between Apple and OpenAI.

Tech creator Marques Brownlee, known as MKBHD, also weighed in on the issue. He shared on X (formerly Twitter) that he personally asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about the privacy concerns related to the integration of ChatGPT.

According to Brownlee, Cook responded by stating that Apple will not send any user data to OpenAI without the user’s explicit permission.

While Tim Cook’s assurance may provide some comfort to users, the lack of a detailed explanation from Apple regarding the specific measures in place to protect user data when interacting with ChatGPT has left some skeptical.

It remains unclear how Apple plans to ensure that user information remains secure and private when using the integrated AI model.

The concerns raised by Elon Musk and others in the tech community underscore the importance of transparency and robust privacy safeguards when implementing AI technologies at the operating system level.

As AI becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives through devices and platforms we rely on, it is crucial that companies like Apple provide clear and comprehensive information about how user data is handled and protected.

Until Apple offers a more detailed explanation of its privacy measures concerning the integration of ChatGPT, some users may remain wary of the potential risks to their personal information.

It is essential for Apple to address these concerns head-on and provide reassurance to its user base that their data will be handled with the utmost care and respect for privacy.

Capabilities of Apple Intelligence

  1. Generative AI for Writing and Editing: Apple Intelligence offers generative AI tools for writing and editing, allowing users to improve their text input across various apps. It can rewrite, proofread, and summarize text on the fly.
  2. Prioritization and Summarization: Apple Intelligence stays aware of incoming Mail messages and notifications, prioritizing important items that require immediate attention. It can also summarize conversations, messages, and even audio recordings, making it easier for users to stay on top of their communication.
  3. Image Creation with Image Playground: Apple introduces the Image Playground app, which utilizes generative AI to create images based on user input and context. Rather than starting with a blank prompt, Image Playground offers suggestions that users can combine to create personalized images.
  4. Genmoji: Apple Intelligence also includes a generative AI feature called Genmoji, which creates emoji based on user descriptions.
  5. Photo Enhancements: While Apple’s generative AI tools for photos are not as extensive as some competitors, it does offer a feature similar to Magic Eraser, allowing users to remove unwanted objects from photos and replace them with a natural background.
  6. Searching Photos and Videos: Apple Intelligence assists in searching photos and videos, enabling users to find specific scenes in a video or create video presentations based on search categories.

Siri Gets Smarter

Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, receives a significant upgrade with Apple Intelligence. Some of the key improvements include:

  1. Richer language understanding capabilities
  2. More natural and contextually relevant responses
  3. Ability to remember conversation context
  4. Support for typed commands and queries
  5. Enhanced device usage guidance and on-screen suggestions
  6. Integration with third-party apps through the App Intent API
  7. Access to user’s personal information for personalized assistance

Privacy Protection

Despite the extensive access Apple Intelligence has to user data, Apple has implemented several measures to protect user privacy:

  1. On-device processing: Most Apple Intelligence features run directly on the user’s device, minimizing data sharing.
  2. Private Cloud Compute: When cloud assistance is needed, Apple uses a secure environment that ensures devices do not communicate with servers unless the software has been publicly logged for inspection.
  3. Image Playground privacy: Apple does not have access to the images created by users in the Image Playground.
  4. Secure summarization: When iPhone 15 Pro requires cloud help for summarizing phone calls, it does not report anything to Apple.

Integration with ChatGPT

Apple Intelligence will offer free access to ChatGPT, allowing users to leverage its capabilities for document and image understanding.

When accessing ChatGPT through Apple Intelligence, user IP addresses are obscured, and OpenAI does not store the requests, providing an added layer of privacy.

However, ChatGPT may not remain the exclusive large-language model (LLM) partner for Apple Intelligence, as Apple has hinted at future partnerships with other AI models.

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Device Compatibility

Apple Intelligence will be available on the following devices:

  1. iPhone: iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (A17 Pro chipset)
  2. iPad: iPad Pro and iPad Air with M1 and M2 chips
  3. Mac: Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, iMac, Mac Studio, and Mac mini with M1 chip or newer

Devices running on older chipsets, such as the A16 Bionic or Intel processors, will not support Apple Intelligence features.

Availability

Apple Intelligence is currently available for developers in the latest macOS 15 Sequoia, iPadOS 18, and iOS 18 developer betas. Public beta testers will also have access to some Apple Intelligence features, though the availability and functionality may be limited. The official version of Apple Intelligence will be released to the public in the latter half of 2024, likely alongside the launch of the iPhone 16 in September.

Final Thoughts

Apple Intelligence marks a significant milestone in Apple’s journey into the world of AI, offering users a comprehensive suite of generative AI tools, an enhanced Siri experience, and plenty of disruptive features.

With the deep integration of ChatGPT and the increased capabilities of Siri, Apple Intelligence, given just how popular iPhone is, could have huge implications for a lot of businesses – Google included. 

Think about it: why would you Google something if Siri could just answer it for you? The simple answer is because you’d like some actual information, not just some spiel scraped by a machine. But a lot of people won’t care about this, and that brings with it some rather massive implications. 

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