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Apple Enters AI Race with its Apple Intelligence: Apple WWDC 2024

Apple revealed several major updates at its WWDC 2024 event on Monday. Key highlights included the introduction of Apple Intelligence, marking the company's foray into artificial intelligence, a substantial AI-driven update to Siri, and the launch of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, VisionOS 2, macOS Sequoia, and WatchOS 11.

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Kapish Khajuria
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Apple Unveils AI at WWDC 2024

Apple revealed several major updates at its WWDC 2024 event on Monday. Key highlights included the introduction of Apple Intelligence, marking the company's foray into artificial intelligence, a substantial AI-driven update to Siri, and the launch of iOS 18, iPadOS 18, VisionOS 2, macOS Sequoia, and WatchOS 11. Additionally, under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple announced the integration of ChatGPT across its operating systems, with a continued emphasis on user privacy.

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Apple Intelligence

Apple has officially embarked on a new chapter in artificial intelligence with the launch of Apple Intelligence. Announced at WWDC 2024, Apple Intelligence represents the company's distinct branding for AI-driven capabilities set to enhance its device ecosystem later this year. At the conference, Apple previewed a suite of AI-powered tools tailored for writing, image editing, and organizational tasks, offering a glimpse into the potential of Apple Intelligence.

Initially, the availability of Apple Intelligence will be restricted to a select audience. The features are exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and any Mac or iPad equipped with Apple's M series chips. According to Apple, these capabilities will be accessible for free to users in the United States this fall through updates to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia.

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During the developer conference, Apple showcased a variety of tools integrated into Apple Intelligence. For instance, writing applications like Mail will benefit from AI-generated suggestions that assist with tone and document formatting. Image editing features include a tool to create custom emojis and an innovative Image Playground that generates graphics based on user prompts.

In addition, photo editing will be enhanced by a Magic Eraser-like function that can eliminate background objects from images and compile photos and videos into stories based on user input. While the majority of Apple Intelligence functions will operate directly on supported devices, certain processes may be securely handled by Apple’s cloud services. Apple emphasized its commitment to privacy, assuring that it will neither view nor store any data associated with Apple Intelligence activities.

Integration of Generative AI

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At its annual developers’ conference, Apple provided clarity on a previously nebulous concept: “What is an AI smartphone?” Although the broader industry has not yet settled on a definitive answer, Apple's announcements on Monday shed light on how the company envisions generative AI (GenAI) integration into the iPhone, the world's most popular smartphone. This development signals a significant shift, potentially rendering non-AI smartphones obsolete in the eyes of many, even if some may hesitate to admit it.

Cupertino's move was anticipated in some respects, yet it underscores a pivotal moment. Despite not being the first to market with an AI-integrated smartphone—preceded by Samsung and Google—Apple has now firmly positioned itself in the GenAI space. Users will be able to access ChatGPT on the iPhone or utilize Apple Intelligence for tasks like text rewriting or proofreading, all while safeguarding their privacy. 

Apple’s new “personal intelligence” tools might not be revolutionary, but they represent a meaningful initial step toward making the iPhone more "personal" and "intelligent." This unique approach ensures that even familiar AI features feel distinct and innovative on Apple devices, blending seamlessly with the company's long-standing commitment to user-centric design and data privacy.

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