It’s no secret that Apple’s Siri is a digital assistant that lags behind the rest. In a world where Alexa, Google Assistant, and chatbots like ChatGPT have shown how great things can be, Siri has proven itself to be a sub-par alternative. With the exception of Samsung’s Bixby, it’s perhaps the last assistant that most would turn to in a pinch. So it’s no surprise to anyone that Apple is rumored to be working on some big upgrades.
Those upgrades are said to be on the back of work that Apple is currently doing on internal generative AI tools. We’ve been hearing various rumors to that effect for months now, and with OpenAI technology fueling competing products, it’s understandable that Apple is looking at how large language models (LLMs) can be used to improve the way Siri deals with requests and then provides its answers. Now, a new report suggests that the fruit of Apple’s labor could be ripe for picking as soon as this year’s WWDC event, likely to be held in June.
If that’s correct, we can then expect the Siri upgrades to be rolled into the upcoming iOS 18 software, a release that is likely to arrive in September alongside the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro. Whether or not the software would require Apple’s best iPhones is a question for another day, but with generative AI tipped to give Siri an upgrade things could be about to get very interesting indeed.
This latest rumor comes via the Naver blog and user account “yeux1122,” a source that has shared details relating to Apple in the past. Citing a “related developer source,” the post claims that Apple has made progress in bringing generative AI technology to Siri and that it’s based on Apple’s Ajax model. Hard information on Ajax is hard to come by, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman shared details about it previously — it’s a model that Apple has been using to build internal chatbots, he says.
The Naver post continues, saying that there are a few features that we can expect from the Siri upgrade. They include some sort of persistence across devices as well as a new Apple-specific creational service. It isn’t immediately clear what that could be, but it could relate to Shortcuts and the apps that tie into it. There is also talk of Siri being linked to external services as well, something that could potentially really improve its capabilities if done correctly. Like so much of this report, however, we’ll need to see specifics before we can be sure.
The report believes that Apple will have all of this ready to show off at WWDC, which means we’ll only have to wait a few months before it’s made public. It’s worth noting that this particular Naver account has a mixed record with these things, too, so we’ll have to wait until closer to WWDC’s June date before we can be sure this is going to happen.
Siri Plus, coming soon
This isn’t the first time that 2024 has been tipped as a big year for Apple’s AI plans. Gurman previously hinted as much, and the year is shaping up to be a big one for Apple.
Not only will there be new iPhones later this year but a whole iPad lineup refresh is also in the works. A big AI push would be a huge undertaking for Apple in a quiet year, but factor in the potentially imminent Vision Pro release, and 2024 could well push Apple to its limits.
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