iPhones may end up using Google AI – Yahoo News UK

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(ES composite)

(ES composite)

Apple is in talks to use Google’s AI technology in features coming to the iPhone 16 later this year, according to Bloomberg.

Noted Apple reporter Mark Gurman says Apple is in “active negotiations” to bring Google Gemini to iPhones.

Gemini is the new overarching name for Google’s AI exploits, including the chatbot once known as Bard. This rebrand took place in February.

Apple was also in talks with OpenAI about a similar plan, suggesting the company has been shopping around to find the right partner to power its next-generation AI efforts.

This also suggests Apple’s own AI tech may not yet be advanced enough to do the job. Apple has had similar issues in the past, where its more privacy-led approach to digital assistants meant Siri often seemed less intelligent, and provided less natural interactions, than Google Assistant.

However, this news also arrives just as Apple has published a paper on its own MM1 multimodal large-language models, the technology behind chatbots like ChatGPT. The multimodal part refers to an AI’s ability to process, for example, text, images and audio concurrently.

The paper is available online. It’s not a fun read for the average Apple fan, but does suggest Apple is serious about using AI in its ecosystem. Particular problems MM1 could solve based on the paper include image captioning and answering questions with reference to pictures or photographs.

Such abilities could slot into Siri’s current feature set naturally.

Apple already has features based on machine learning that could be called examples of AI, but it has been less bullish on using the term to explain them.

In 2021’s iOS 15, Apple introduced Visual Look Up, which helps identify plants, foodstuffs or landmarks in pictures or video. In iOS 17, it can be used to suggest recipes. too.

Also in iOS 17 is Apple’s Personal Voice. This creates a synthetic voice profile of a person, once they read 150 short phrases into their iPhone’s mic. It can then be used to read out phrases, although cannot yet be applied as the voice font for Siri.

There are many rumoured AI features for iOS 18, the software to be launched with the iPhone 16. These include an AI health coach, generated music playlists, a revamped more chatbot-like Siri and integration within Pages, Numbers and Keynote, mirroring what Microsoft has done with this 365 “Office” applications as part of its Copilot AI.

More on Apple’s plans is likely to be revealed at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which takes place every June.

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