Apple is finally getting into the generative artificial intelligence game.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s long-awaited AI reboot at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in Cupertino, California, today. What the company is calling “Apple Intelligence” includes a handful of features that will shape the iOS experience in ways large and small. Apple also gave Siri, its currently limited voice assistant, a significant generative AI overhaul.

Apple also announced that it will incorporate outside AI models into its software, starting with OpenAI’s ChatGPT later this year, making clear that the experience will be opt-in only.

Until now, Apple has been conspicuous by its absence from headlines about generative AI. Competitors like Google and Microsoft have rushed to embrace the technology ever since ChatGPT burst onto the scene in late 2022. Apple has apparently been developing a comprehensive strategy that includes running AI on devices as well as in the cloud.

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, said the company’s new AI strategy will focus on privacy and security. Federighi introduced what the company calls Private Cloud Compute, a technology that decides if an AI computation can run on a device or should be sent to a remote server. He said that remote computations would be kept secure on a protected part of the cloud. “Your data is never stored or made accessible to Apple,” he said.

Apple showed off Apple Intelligence across numerous apps. The technology will rewrite messages in Mail, generate new emojis on-demand, and summarize content in Safari. An AI refresh to Siri will make the assistant better able to handle complex spoken commands and better able to search for information even if a command is ambiguous.

Apple will also offer smaller generative AI algorithms that run on devices. It says these algorithms will be snappier and better protect users’ data. The company will face a balancing act in emphasizing privacy and security while also pivoting to greater use of generative AI.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates, or keep up with our WWDC live blog here.

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