Apple is testing AI (artificial intelligence) features (think ChatGPT) that could eventually come to Siri, the company’s “virtual digital assistant,” according to The New York Times (a subscription is required to read the article).
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, the article adds. ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models and has been fine-tuned using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques
And there are issues with Siri.
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.” He says its “cumbersome design” makes it very difficult for new features to be added.
This means that simple updates like adding new phrases to the data set requires rebuilding the entire Siri database. The could take up to six weeks, while adding more complicated features like new search tools could take up to a whole year. MacRumors notes that, as a result, there’s no path for Siri to become a “creative assistant” like ChatGPT.