OpenAI is helping Apple fix Siri, and that has Microsoft worried

We’ve heard a lot of rumors that Apple is negotiating with OpenAI to use its GPT technology in iOS 18. Now, a report from Information revealed that discussions have been underway since mid-2023, and Microsoft is concerned about this agreement between the two companies since it also relies on OpenAI.

Apple and OpenAI have been negotiating for a year

In a report on Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, Information explored more details about the deal with Apple – which is expected to be revealed to the world in less than two weeks at WWDC 2024. Apple has been working on new AI-based features for its operating systems, and OpenAI will play an important role in powering some of these features.

According to the report, Apple employees on the machine learning team met with Altman and other members of OpenAI in mid-2023, around last year’s WWDC. Although little is known about what exactly they discussed, the two companies later reached an agreement allowing Apple employees to have access to OpenAI APIs for internal testing.

β€œIn these tests, Apple engineers connected ChatGPT to Siri, creating impressive demonstrations of Siri handling more complex queries than usual, including better understanding the context of what users were saying,” the report said. 9to5Mac found evidence that Apple was using such APIs in iOS 17.4 code.

The possibilities for Apple are endless, but sources familiar with the matter say the company is focused on using OpenAI technologies to allow Siri to answer more complex questions and even turn it into a chatbot. OpenAI showed Apple how Siri could become more responsive, more natural, and even provide real-time translation using its APIs.

However, Apple wants to make it clear to users when a Siri response is generated by ChatGPT.

Microsoft is worried about this agreement

The report also reveals that Microsoft is concerned about the partnership between Apple and OpenAI. Indeed, Microsoft also has a deal with OpenAI, which provides the technologies behind Microsoft Copilot, while Microsoft lets OpenAI use its data centers to power ChatGPT.

Microsoft's MacBook Air |  PC Copilot+ presented on stage

Altman recently met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to discuss these concerns. For example, Microsoft is concerned about managing server demand as Apple launches new features for iPhone and iPad users. The company behind Windows also requested a cut of OpenAI’s future profits in exchange for a $13 billion investment in the startup.

On the one hand, Microsoft will likely end up making more money from Apple’s partnership with OpenAI. But at the same time, Apple’s AI capabilities will directly compete with Microsoft’s.

Apple also tried to strike a deal with Google to use Gemini in iOS 18 at the same time it was negotiating with OpenAI. Despite the deal, the company is also working on its own language model that will work offline to handle simpler tasks, such as text summarization.

The first look at iOS 18’s new AI features will be revealed by Apple on June 10 during the WWDC 2024 launch event.

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