Apple Intelligence: How iPhone’s cloud-based and on-device AI will work

iPhone running iOS 18

Adam Breeden/ZDNET

Apple is expected to have one of its most groundbreaking products Global Developers Conference (WWDC) said on Monday, as the company plans to add the artificial intelligence (AI) for its operating systems.

But instead of revealing a bunch of flashy AI features to knock your socks off, Apple is expected to focus on incorporating AI into its apps to simplify users’ daily work. And it will classify such features under the name “Apple Intelligence”.

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Based on Bloomberg, Apple is branding its AI features as Apple Intelligence — and we didn’t miss the cryptic pun. Apple Intelligence will include the latest AI features coming to its operating systems, including iOS, iPadOS, MacOS and WatchOS.

Apple Intelligence focuses on AI features that have broader appeal beyond advanced image and video creation. To do this, the company developed AI models in-house and partnered with OpenAI to provide a chatbot that works similarly to ChatGPT.

Also: Apple gives Control Center its most useful customization feature ever with iOS 18

Some of the biggest AI features we expect from Apple Intelligence include:

  • Improve edit photolike deleting objects, with AI in Photos.
  • Siri has better control over apps and actions, including asking Siri to delete emails or edit photos.
  • AI creates custom emojis based on text prompts.
  • Create quick summaries of notes, text message threads, emails, and more.
  • Automatically suggest responses to emails and messages.
  • The improved Mail app can sort emails and create messages.
  • Automatically transcribe voice memos.
  • AI enhancements to Xcode for code auto-completion.

In addition to these AI features, Bloomberg reports that iOS 18 will include new custom icons and interface updates for Control Center, Settings, and Messages. Apple is also expected to launch a new product Password application to replace iCloud Keychain and provide users with a more user-friendly option, similar to 1Password and LastPass.

Also: Apple Unveils ‘Passwords’ Management App at WWDC 2024: What It Is and How It Works

On-device vs. cloud-based

While there are rumors that Apple will be working in various ways to keep its AI strictly on-device to ensure security and privacy, Apple Intelligence is expected to be cloud-based to perform at least some tasks. This will depend on device complexity, resource availability, data privacy considerations, and latency requirements.

Essentially, if a task is simple enough to be handled locally, takes advantage of the device’s processing power and battery life, and requires immediate results, then the task is more likely to be more on-device processing. Tasks involving sensitive data can also prioritize on-device processing, as Apple strives to prioritize data privacy.

Also: ChatGPT Privacy Tip: Two important ways to limit the data you share with OpenAI

In turn, cloud-based AI processing requires sending data from the device to remote servers that can handle complex or computationally intensive tasks. In Apple’s case, tasks that require processing large amounts of data or updating models can include advanced natural language processing (NLP), complex analytics, and complex image and video generation miscellaneous.

Depending on complexity and system requirements, the algorithm determines whether a task requiring AI should be handled on the device or moved to the cloud. Simpler tasks like Siri requests and other basic NLP tasks can be handled on the device. More complex tasks, like creating a detailed summary of a large document, will be sent to the cloud, where more powerful processing can take place.

Technical requirements for Apple Intelligence

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s new AI features will be compatible with Apple’s latest devices, including the iPhone 15 Pro or newer models, running on the A17 Pro chip, as well as iPads and Macs with the M1 chip or newer. . While these AI features could help boost sales of new iPhones and Macs, as a current iPhone 14 Pro Max owner, I’m hopeful that at least some of the features will come to the older iPhone models. We’ll know the official compatibility list at WWDC on Monday.

Also: The Apple Photos app is getting an AI-powered editing feature to wipe out photo bombers

During WWDC, Apple is expected to highlight new security measures for running AI tasks, including chip-based security in data centers for cloud-based processing. It will also reiterate its commitment not to build user profiles based on consumer data.

Perhaps most importantly, users can opt in to Apple Intelligence features, which will be introduced in beta as Apple works to improve its AI capabilities over time.


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