Hey, Siri! Let's talk about how Apple is giving you an AI makeover.

Every June, Apple unveils its latest iPhone software features at its futuristic Silicon Valley campus. But during its annual developer conference on Monday, the company will shine a spotlight on a feature that's not new: Siri, its talking assistant, which has been around for more than a decade.

What will be different this time is the technology that powers Siri: generative artificial intelligence.

In recent months, Adrian Perica, Apple's vice president of business development, has helped lead an effort to bring generative artificial intelligence to the masses, said two people familiar with the work, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the effort.

Perica and his colleagues have been talking to leading AI companies, including Google and OpenAI, looking for a partner to help Apple provide generative AI across its business. Apple recently struck a deal with OpenAI, which makes the ChatGPT chatbot, to integrate its technology into the iPhone, two people familiar with the deal said. It was still in talks with Google as of last week, two people familiar with the conversations said.

That helped lead to a more conversational and versatile version of Siri, which will be shown off on Monday, three people familiar with the company said. Siri will be powered by a generative AI system developed by Apple, which will allow the talking assistant to chat rather than just answer one question at a time. Apple will market its new artificial intelligence features as Apple Intelligence, a person familiar with the marketing plan said.

Apple, OpenAI and Google declined to comment. Apple's deal with OpenAI was previously reported by The Information and Bloomberg, which also reported the name of Apple's AI system.

Apple's move to generative AI will test the company's ability to re-enter a new market and redefine it. While Apple didn't make the first digital music player, smartphone, or smartwatch, it transformed those categories with the iPod, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Now, after two years of watching Microsoft, Meta, Google and Samsung integrate generative AI into products, Apple is moving from observer to potential challenger.

The integration of generative AI into iPhones will also be a key moment for the technology, which can answer questions, create images and write software code. Apple will expand the reach of generative AI to more than a billion users and determine how useful it is for everyday iPhone customers.

To date, the technology's promises have been undermined by its flaws. Google introduced and scaled back AI generative search capabilities that advised people to eat rocks, while Microsoft was criticized for security vulnerabilities in a personal computer that uses AI to record every second of activity.

“We are still trying to understand artificial intelligence because it is very complicated,” said Carolina Milanesi, president of Creative Strategies, a technology research firm. “Apple is pretty conservative when it comes to everything, so I don't know if they'll be able to amaze people. But they have to because it's going to be how we interact with technology in the future.”

Wall Street investors, not Main Street consumers, are a big reason Apple is diving into artificial intelligence. The technology has boosted the values ​​of Microsoft, a big player in generative artificial intelligence, and Nvidia, which sells AI chips. In January, Microsoft dethroned Apple as the world's most valuable public technology company.

The market reshuffle came as Apple remained silent on artificial intelligence. The company has a policy of not sharing future product plans, but when its stock position plummeted, Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, broke protocol and told Wall Street analysts on a call in May that he would will soon introduce generative AI offerings.

Apple's stock price has rebounded since Cook made the commitment. As of Friday, Apple's shares had risen 6% this year, less than Microsoft's 14% gain and Nvidia's 151% gain.

(The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft over their use of copyrighted articles related to artificial intelligence systems.)

Apple has long been under pressure to revamp Siri, which wowed people when it was released in 2011 but hasn't changed much over time. The talking assistant's shortcomings were finally highlighted by comedian Larry David during the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in a scene in which he yelled at Siri for repeatedly giving the wrong directions.

Enter OpenAI, which has positioned itself at the forefront of the generative artificial intelligence movement with ChatGPT. Apple plans to integrate what OpenAI offers with internally developed technology to perform select tasks on iPhone. Its system will help Siri set timers, create calendar appointments, and summarize text messages.

The company also plans to promote its revamped Siri as a more private AI service than rivals because it will process many requests on iPhones rather than remotely in data centers. Apple's privacy focus proved to be a sticking point during negotiations with OpenAI and Google because it wanted to limit what iPhone data partners received, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

It's possible that Apple will try to offer the Siri enhancement as a service, analysts say. According to Morgan Stanley, by charging $5 a month to people who use the talking assistant, the company could generate $4 billion to $8 billion in annual sales.

While it's late in the race for generative artificial intelligence, Apple has been pursuing the idea of ​​a digital personal assistant for about 40 years.

In 1987, he released a conceptual video showing a professor talking to an assistant called Knowledge Navigator, who could manage his calendar and retrieve his lecture notes. The video helped inspire a group of artificial intelligence researchers at SRI International, an independent research lab, to create a virtual assistant called Siri in 2008.

In 2010, Apple purchased the technology for $200 million. The company released Siri a year later on the iPhone, demonstrating its ability to provide the time in Paris or display a list of 14 Greek restaurants.

“We set in motion a user interface paradigm that no one has been able to improve,” said Tom Gruber, a Siri co-founder who worked at Apple until 2018. “But we still don't have personal artificial intelligence, a assistant who knows my life. With generative AI, it is now doable.”

Metz falls AND Brian X. Chen contributed to the reporting.

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