Home Apple reportedly to introduce opt-in OpenAI features with iOS 18 update amid privacy concerns

Apple reportedly to introduce opt-in OpenAI features with iOS 18 update amid privacy concerns

Apple is reportedly set to introduce privacy-focused, optional AI features in iOS 18. According to Bloomberg, this major update will include OpenAI’s ChatGPT and is slated for release at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. Users will need to opt-in to use these features.

Apple’s concerns over OpenAI chatbot integration

The iPhone maker is reportedly aware of the potential risk of alienating its dedicated user base who trust its software. The skepticism extends to Apple’s own executives, who are wary of a “rogue chatbot” harming the company’s reputation. The report also notes that some Apple staff are philosophically opposed to integrating a third-party chatbot into iOS.

Apple also recognizes that many of its customers might share these concerns. Hence, the company has been quoted as saying that by providing users with the choice to opt-in, it can protect itself from possible backlash, including privacy concerns.

Before deciding to integrate ChatGPT into iOS 18, Apple is said to have engaged in discussions with Google LLC about its Gemini chatbot, ultimately choosing OpenAI for its more favorable terms and superior language model capabilities.

While it’s still unknown which model will be used, OpenAI recently started training a successor to its GPT-4 model. If completed by September, when new iOS versions are typically released, this new model could be included.

The update might also support other chatbots in the future. Apple’s ongoing discussions with Google suggest potential further integrations and several other advanced large language models (LLMs) in the market could be used.

Apple’s new AI features

In addition to ChatGPT, the update is expected to improve the operating system with various AI-driven features across the search bar, emoji library, and built-in apps, indicating a major push into AI. This includes plans for two consumer robotics projects.

The refresh will likely introduce additional machine learning functionalities, such as emoji and slideshow creation via natural language, AI-curated Apple Music playlists, and automated task performance in apps through the iOS search bar.

Apple is also working on two more ambitious machine learning initiatives involving home robots at the same time. One project involves a tabletop robotic arm with a display larger than an iPad, and the other, an autonomous vehicle designed to follow users and assist with chores. These projects are in the preliminary stages and could incorporate LLMs for task management and processing user commands.

Featured image: Canva / Ideogram

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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