Report: iOS 18 Generative AI Features Expected to Be Opt-In Service

Apple is expected to offer its new AI features in iOS 18 and other Apple operating systems as an opt-in service, as a way of allowing users wary of the technology to steer clear of it, reports Bloomberg.

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature
Apple has been working on a deal with OpenAI to integrate its ChatGPT technology into โ€Œโ€ŒiOS 18โ€Œโ€Œ, and has come to an agreement to integrate its ChatGPT technology into iPhones and other Apple devices.

That partnership is expected to be announced next week at WWDC. However, the decision to green-light the deal reportedly did not come easily. Executives are said to have had concerns about reputational damage from a “rogue chatbot,” while some people within Apple are even said to have a “philosophical aversion” to having a chatbot integrated into Apple software.

Ultimately, however, Apple felt that consumers would expect the cutting-edge technology to be offered by the company. By outsourcing the chatbot function, Apple can distance itself from the technology, and by providing AI features as an opt-in service, consumers will be given the choice to use it or not.

Apple is also in talks with Google about incorporating Gemini into its operating systems. As it negotiates the deals on a case-by-case basis, Apple may ultimately offer a number of third-party chatbots across its operating systems, according to today’s report, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple’s decision to partner up with another company to deliver advanced AI features reportedly came after it hit a wall in its own artificial intelligence. Apple is known to have been working on its own large language model (LLM), the algorithm that underpins generative AI, and found that it could power basic features like voice memo transcriptions, photo editing, new Safari search capabilities, and Message auto-replies. However, Apple is said to have realized “early on” that competitors like Google and OpenAI were “far ahead in chatbots and on-the-fly assistance.”

In โ€ŒiOS 18โ€Œ, Apple’s LLM work will likely be limited to new โ€ŒSiri features, with the virtual assistant expected to be able toโ€Œ control all individual features in apps for the first time. These features are expected to work on-device, with more advanced AI features relying on cloud servers. This may be where OpenAI’s technology is more likely to come in. Regardless, Apple is believed to see the OpenAI agreement as a stop-gap measure while it continues to work on its own generative AI technology.

Today’s report also claims that Apple is looking beyond chatbots in its AI research, and intends to use LLMs to help power a pair of robotic devices that it is secretly developing. These are said to include the previously rumored table-top robotic arm with an iPad-like display, as well as a mobile robot that can follow users around and handle chores on their behalf. Apple reportedly also plans to integrate cameras and AI features into future AirPods.

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