Apple Intelligence: Tech giant unveils its new flagship generative AI tools

Apple has unveiled its long-awaited plans to bring generative AI tools to its products, promising to make tools “personal” to users, and will integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone and other devices.

The US tech giant announced what it is calling Apple Intelligence, an entire new AI-powered system running across its platforms and devices that can solve users’ problems and respond to prompts, and is also able to create new text and images.

It comes in the wake of many of the firm’s biggest rivals, most notably Google and Microsoft, rolling out generative AI powered assistants to help users with everyday tasks.

In an attempt to stand out from its rivals, Apple has pitched Apple Intelligence as more “personal”, saying it is “grounded in the things that make you, you” to help users complete tasks “in a way that works for you”, and spoke of the ability of the system to understand a user’s “personal context” in order to provide them with the most helpful solution.

Unveiled during the firm’s annual developer conference, WWDC, Apple said the system would be able to take information from across apps such as Maps, Mail and Messages to help with scheduling and planning, offer rewrites, summaries and proofreads of text and create new images based on prompts or ideas from users – already common in generative AI tools available elsewhere.

But in a further attempt to stand out in the crowded AI assistant field, Apple said its system would be rooted in privacy, carrying out most processes on-device and without the need for external compute from servers, but said that where it was necessary to get additional server power, it would do so through a new procedure called private cloud compute, which would use private, secure servers that would protect user data and not be widely accessible.

In addition to revamping its own virtual assistant, Siri, with Apple Intelligence, the tech giant confirmed it was also partnering with OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, with the popular chatbot being integrated into the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

The system will also include a new emoji creation tool, called Genmoji, that will allow users to create their own emoji based on people and other themes, as well as image creation tools and apps to allow users to generate original images based on text inputs.

Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi said: “This is AI for the rest of us.

“Personal intelligence you can rely on at work, home and everywhere in between.

“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter of personal intelligence.

“Intelligence built for your most personal products: your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

“Intelligence grounded in the things that make you, you and intelligence available to you system-wide so that you can get things down in a way that works for you.

“We are just getting started and I hope you are as excited as I am for the road ahead.”

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: “We’re thrilled to introduce a new chapter in Apple innovation.

“Apple Intelligence will transform what users can do with our products – and what our products can do for our users.

“Our unique approach combines generative AI with a user’s personal context to deliver truly helpful intelligence.

“And it can access that information in a completely private and secure way to help users do the things that matter most to them.

“This is AI as only Apple can deliver it, and we can’t wait for users to experience what it can do.”

The unveiling of Apple Intelligence came during a busy day for the US firm, as it revealed the broader updates coming to all its software platforms in the coming months, including new customisation tools for app icons on the iPhone, new ways to track training loads via the Apple Watch and the ability to directly mirror an iPhone on a Mac, even when the user does not have their smartphone close by.