What to expect from Apple’s AI reveal

Apple’s World Developers Conference (AAPL) event will begin on Monday, June 10, from the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, with a keynote address from CEO Tim Cook. One of the most anticipated Apple events in recent years, WWDC 2024 is expected to be the launch point for the company’s big push into next-generation AI.

Wall Street has been eager to learn what Apple has been up to for the past few months as its rivals have begun rolling out, or in some cases bringing back, their own AI generation offerings. Apple has largely been on the sidelines of the AI ​​conversation, save for a few fleeting references during earnings calls and the like.

During the company’s Q2 call in May, Cook seemed to be teasing possible AI news from WWDC while tapping into Apple’s capabilities in both hardware and software.

“We believe in the transformative power and promise of AI, and believe we have advantages that will differentiate us in this new era, including Apple’s unique combination of seamless integration of hardware, software and services; Pioneering Apple silicon with our industry-leading neuroscience. engine; and our relentless focus on privacy,” he said.

If that wasn’t enough, Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that WWDC will be “Absolutely Unbelievable!” and made sure to capitalize both words. Get it? AI

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, Calif., on June 5, 2023. Apple is expected on Monday to show off affordable mixed reality headsets at its annual, challenging Worldwide Developers Conference.  The owner Facebook Meta in a market that is not stuck yet.  (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, on June 5, 2023. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images) (JOSH EDELSON via Getty Images)

In addition to unveiling its broader AI strategy, Apple will also debut the latest versions of its various operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, tvOS, and the company’s first major updates to visionOS, which powers the mixed reality Vision Pro. headset.

Still, everything else is almost guaranteed to take a back seat to Apple’s AI news.

According to Bloomberg’s Apple soothsayer Mark Gurman, the highlight of WWDC 2024 will be a new generation AI-powered version of Apple’s Siri smart assistant. This feature will allow Siri to control individual features within apps, making it much more versatile than the Siri on your current iPhone.

Siri has languished for years, more useful for setting timers and playing songs on Spotify than being a true digital assistant. But an AI-powered version of Siri holds the promise of an actual smart assistant that could provide you with everything from proactive tips to improved answers to those random questions that pop into your head throughout the day.

Bloomberg’s Gurman also says that Apple’s AI features, called Apple Intelligence, will touch many other apps including Messages, Notes, and Safari, too.

How exactly Apple will make Siri smarter is still an open question. According to reports from Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, Apple has had talks with OpenAI to license its GPT software and separate talks with Google (GOOG, GOOGL) to license its Gemini software.

Connecting with either company could be complicated. OpenAI already works closely with Microsoft (MSFT), which is working to position its PC business apart from Apple by marrying how some Windows 11 features are powered by GPT-4o. Google, meanwhile, uses its Gemini AI model on its Android smartphones, which compete directly with Apple’s iPhone. Google is also working with Samsung to provide AI software for that company’s Galaxy line of phones.

It will also be interesting to see whether consumers or Wall Street are more excited about Apple’s gradual implementation of AI. Investors and analysts are waiting for Apple to come up with some sort of response to the AI ​​generation explosion, but so far consumer use cases have been pretty limited.

If Apple rolls out some well-developed features, it’s unlikely that they’ll make consumers drop everything and buy a new iPhone in September when the company debuts its newest phones. Instead, most consumers will probably wait until they see some kind of hardware upgrade they’ve been waiting for, or until their current phone slows down, before they get a device get new.

For iPadOS and macOS, expect Apple to add the same AI features it adds to iOS across those operating systems as well. In general, I expect Apple to be quite thoughtful with its AI moves. The company is keenly interested in how consumers perceive its products, and after competitors like Google and Microsoft have seen their own AI, it’s hard to imagine Apple announcing anything that isn’t completely trusted. from him.

Outside of AI, Apple is expected to unveil Rich Communication Services, or RCS, for the iPhone. This means that users will finally be able to text high-quality images and videos to their Android friends. RCS is also more secure than the SMS standard currently used by Apple for iPhone-to-Android texting.

Gurman also says that Apple will eventually allow people to arrange app icons on their iPhone home screen any way they want, rather than being stuck with the traditional grid layout.

There will likely be many more announcements from the big show, and Yahoo Finance will be there live, bringing you all the latest news as it breaks.

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Email Daniel Howley at dowley@yahoofinance.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Daniel Howley.

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