Apple should focus on making AI useful, not flashy

Google and Microsoft have turned their developer conferences into a showcase of their generative AI prowess, and now all eyes are on next week's Worldwide Developers Conference, which is expected to mark the debut of Apple Intelligence.

The Cupertino-based company is under great pressure. Apple has fallen behind its competitors in the AI ​​race, and it probably feels like it has to pull out all the stops to impress fans and shareholders. But that shouldn't mean over-promising in terms of features.

Reliability first

Apple makes some of the most popular devices in the world, and its AI features should make them more useful. Many AI-powered features rely on going back to the cloud to get answers or input back. However, if Apple manages to perform some useful functions locally on the device, users can ditch the cloud-based tools in favor of always-on AI. Offline transcriptions in the Voice Memo and Notes apps could be suitable for this.

Apple will likely reveal summaries of notifications and web pages, basic text generation, and photo editing. However, numerous browsers, note-taking apps, and photo editing apps already have them. Apple needs to make their implementation as smooth and seamless as possible to make it stand out.

Privacy first

Apple will likely strengthen its privacy-first approach, which may not give Siri or AI-powered features free rein to take control of all apps. According to a Bloomberg report, only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPads or Macs with M1 chips or higher will get AI features, and they will be opt-in. If this is true, then despite lagging behind the adoption curve of AI features, Apple is still being cautious and doesn't want to get caught up in user reactions.

The company was recently criticized for its “Crush” iPad ad, which showed creative instruments being destroyed under a hydraulic press. This was seen as Apple undervaluing creators, their tools, and the effort it takes to create art by wrapping it in a small capitalist package. With AI already having a bad reputation among makers, Apple may not want to irritate them again. So a non-controversial approach will probably be needed.

Improve Siri

The biggest expected change is for Apple Refresh Siri to better understand and deliver users' queries more accurate results. Currently, Siri cannot multitask. If you ask the assistant to set a 10-minute timer and a 5-minute timer, it will set one for 15 minutes instead. These things may not need help from generative AI to solve, but Siri's refresh should at least have them.

If Siri doesn't gain deeper access to apps as expected, Apple can make users' lives easier by introducing an AI assistant that helps users create complex Siri shortcuts to complete multi-step tasks.

There are rumors on the street that Apple will announce this a deal with OpenAI to power AI functions across all its operating systems. It remains to be seen how much of Apple Intelligence will be built on that deal. Given AI's hallucination problems, Apple may not want to be directly involved in substantive AI features just yet.

Many companies make big promises about AI-powered features, only to disappoint with inaccurate or biased results. Companies like Google and OpenAI have had to roll back AI features due to bugs or copyright issues. As such, the company may not want to rely on LLMs (large language models) for content generation.

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