Siri Gets a Makeover

Apple is giving its Siri virtual assistant a makeover, incorporating advanced AI to enable users to control more application functions with their voice, according to unidentified sources in the know. Word has it that Apple will announce this at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10.

According to Bloomberg, the capability requires a software revamp using large language models to enable voice memo transcriptions and summaries, quick recaps of websites and notifications, automated message replies, advanced photo editing, and AI-generated emoji.

Basic AI tasks will be processed on the devices themselves, while advanced capabilities will be handled using cloud computing.

Siri is central to the WWDC unveiling as the assistant will be able to control and navigate an iPhone or iPad with greater precision. This includes opening individual documents, moving a note to another folder, sending or deleting an email, opening a particular publication in Apple News, emailing a web link, or even asking the device for a summary of an article. AI will analyze what people are doing on their devices and enable Siri-controlled features, initially starting with Apple’s apps and eventually supporting hundreds of commands.

The new Siri will handle one command at a time, with plans to allow users to chain commands together. The system will use AI to determine whether to handle functions on the device or via the cloud. While on-device tasks will not share personal information, the cloud-based approach will require user data to be transferred to remote servers. The data will be protected by the Secure Enclave in high-end Apple Mac chips powering the data centers. Apple will not build customer profiles, which is something it has criticized Google and Meta Platforms for doing.

The release will likely be next year with an update to iOS 18. The first version will launch in September, around the same time as the next iPhone models.

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