OpenAI Assists Apple in Enhancing Siri, Sparking Microsoft’s Worries

May 30, 2024 – According to a blog post by tech media outlet The Information yesterday, Apple had been in contact with OpenAI as early as mid-2023, sparking concerns from Microsoft regarding the potential deal between the two companies.

Apple and OpenAI have been in negotiations for a year

It is reported that Apple will announce its collaboration with OpenAI at the WWDC 2024 global developer conference, scheduled for June 11th at 1 a.m. This partnership is expected to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT chat service into Apple’s iOS and other systems, enhancing the capabilities of Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant.

According to the report, members of Apple’s machine learning team began reaching out to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and his staff around the time of WWDC 2023. While the specifics of their discussions remain unknown, the two companies eventually reached an agreement that allowed Apple employees to access OpenAI’s API for internal testing.

During these tests, Apple engineers reportedly integrated ChatGPT with Siri, significantly improving Siri’s ability to understand the context of user queries. Evidence of this integration can already be found in Apple’s iOS 17.4 code.

Sources familiar with the matter stated that Apple is focusing on utilizing OpenAI technology to enable Siri to answer more complex questions and even transform it into a chatbot. OpenAI has demonstrated to Apple how Siri can become more responsive and natural, and even provide real-time translation using its API.

Microsoft is concerned about the deal

The report also revealed that Microsoft has been keeping a close eye on the partnership between Apple and OpenAI. This is because Microsoft has also entered into an agreement with OpenAI, which provides the technology behind Microsoft Copilot, while Microsoft allows OpenAI to use its data centers to support ChatGPT.

Recently, Altman met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to discuss these issues. For instance, Microsoft is concerned about how to handle the demand on servers when Apple introduces new features for iPhone and iPad users.

The Windows-backing company has also requested a share in OpenAI’s future profits in exchange for its $13 billion investment in the startup.

On one hand, Microsoft could potentially earn more money from the collaboration between Apple and OpenAI. On the other hand, Apple’s artificial intelligence capabilities will directly compete with those of Microsoft.

While negotiating with OpenAI, Apple has also attempted to reach an agreement with Google to use Gemini in iOS 18. Despite reaching a deal, the company has also been developing its own language model that will run offline to handle simpler tasks such as summarizing text.

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