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Apple is testing generative AI concepts that could one day be destined for Siri, despite fundamental issues with the way the virtual assistant is built, the New York Times reports.

siri-phil-schiller.jpeg

Employees were apparently briefed on Apple's large language model and other AI tools at the company's annual AI summit last month. Apple engineers, including members of the Siri team, have reportedly been testing language-generation concepts "every week" in response to the rise of chatbots like ChatGPT.

These next-generation AI technologies have highlighted how Siri, Alexa, and other voice assistants have squandered their lead in the AI race, the report explains. Siri, in particular, has faced multiple roadblocks to meaningful improvements. Speaking to the New York Times, former Apple engineer John Burkey, who worked on Siri and was made responsible for improving it in 2014, explained that the voice assistant is built on "clunky code that took weeks to update with basic features."

Its "cumbersome design" made it very difficult for engineers to add new features. For example, Siri's database contains a large list of phrases in almost two dozen languages, making it "one big snowball." If someone wanted to add a word to Siri's database, Burkey added, "it goes in one big pile."

This means that simple updates like adding new phrases to the data set requires rebuilding the entire Siri database, which could take up to six weeks. Adding more complicated features like new search tools could take up to a whole year.

As a result, there was no path for Siri to become a "creative assistant" like ChatGPT, Burkey believes. Earlier this week, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, its next-generation AI engine, enabling even more advanced responses from ChatGPT.

Last week, DigiTimes reported that the growing interest in generative AI catalyzed by ChatGPT has motivated a re-evaluation of how the technology is developed at major companies like Apple, Meta, and Amazon. These companies are purportedly making efforts to ensure Microsoft does not maintain its lead in AI. Apple and Tesla, in particular, are said to be reconsidering their approach to AI.

Article Link: Apple Engineers Reportedly Working on ChatGPT-Like AI Despite Siri Design Flaws
 

haruhiko

macrumors 604
Sep 29, 2009
6,529
5,874
The phrase "working on" in corporate double speak can have various meanings depending on the context, but it generally implies that the company is actively engaged in a project or initiative. However, it may also suggest that the project is in its early stages, and there are no concrete plans or timelines in place yet.

In some cases, "working on" can be a vague and non-committal way for a company to acknowledge a problem or issue without making any promises or guarantees about a solution. It can also indicate that the company is exploring different options or considering various approaches before making a decision.

Overall, the phrase "working on" can be interpreted as a way for a company to signal that it is taking action, without committing to any specific outcomes or timelines. It is important to note that this phrase should be evaluated in the context of the specific company and situation, as it can have different connotations depending on the context in which it is used.

From your AI overlord, ChatGPT.
 

anakin44011

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
201
761
At some point, you can't keep updating MacOS 8 (later known as Classic Mac). You need a group of engineers to evaluate the acquisition of the AI equivalent of BeOS or NextOS and simply start over...

...except this time, Apple isn't on the brink of bankruptcy.

Yes...I'm that old...I remember.


...in other words, rebuild from the ground up and run current Siri in emulation mode, if necessary
 

lococroco

macrumors newbie
Dec 8, 2020
13
72
Berlin
Siri has been broken for such a long time and it’s clear it’s not going to get substantially better anytime soon. I actually wish we would get to point again where big tech companies just don’t all have to create their own software and hardware inside their walled gardens but rather integrate technologies from other specialized companies. Since when is it a law of nature that Apple has to be good at everything? Why not just license ChatGPT and integrate it in a privacy-protecting way? Then they could focus more on their core competency: Making amazing hardware and some really nice apps. It’s annoying that these tech behemoths just think about how to outdo one another with their proprietary tech while investing billions in in stupid patent fights.
 

AlumaMac

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2018
358
681
At some point, you can't keep updating MacOS 8 (later known as Classic Mac). You need a group of engineers to evaluate the acquisition of the AI equivalent of BeOS or NextOS and simply start over...

...except this time, Apple isn't on the brink of bankruptcy.

Yes...I'm that old...I remember.


...in other words, rebuild from the ground up and run current Siri in emulation mode, if necessary

The only problem is Apple has MacOS Copland engineers running the show. We‘re still waiting for the visionary to show up.
 

jjudson

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2017
713
1,535
North Carolina
I read the New York Times article first thing this morning. It's amazing that Apple, Amazon, and Google all missed this with jinky, bloated, badly coded functionality. There's now a lot of catch-up that needs to happen, which will mean building it from the ground up -- or building it through acquisition...

 
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