CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple jumped into the race to bring generative artificial intelligence to the masses Monday, unveiling a series of features designed to enrich the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

In a move befitting a company known for its marketing prowess, the AI ​​technology arriving as part of free software updates later this year is billed as “Apple Intelligence.”

As it tries to put its stamp on the hottest area of ​​technology, Apple admitted during its Worldwide Developers Conference that it needs help catching up to the likes of Microsoft and Google, which emerged as early leaders in artificial intelligence. Apple is relying on ChatGPT, developed by San Francisco startup OpenAI, to make its often noisy virtual assistant Siri smarter and more useful.

“All of this goes beyond artificial intelligence, it’s personal intelligence, and it’s the next big step for Apple,” CEO Tim Cook said.

Siri’s gateway to ChatGPT will be free for all iPhone users, and will be available on other Apple products once the option is rolled out to Apple’s next-generation operating systems. ChatGPT subscribers should be able to easily sync their existing accounts when using an iPhone and have more advanced features than free users.

To announce the alliance with Apple, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sat in the front row of a packed conference attended by developers from more than 60 countries.

“Together with Apple, we’re making it easier for people to take advantage of what artificial intelligence can offer,” Altman said.

In addition to allowing Siri to tap into ChatGPT’s knowledge base, Apple is making sweeping changes designed to make the 13-year-old virtual assistant more engaging and versatile as it fields about 1.5 billion requests a day.

When Apple releases free updates to the software that powers the iPhone and its other products this fall, Siri will announce her presence with flashing lights around the edges of the screen. Based on Monday’s presentations, it will be able to handle hundreds more tasks, including chores that may require tapping into third-party devices.

Apple’s full suite of upcoming features will only work on newer iPhones, iPads and Macs, as the devices require advanced processors. For example, to take full advantage of Apple’s AI suite, consumers will need last year’s iPhone 15 Pro or the next model coming out later this year, although all the tools will work on 2020 Macs after the computer’s next operating system is installed. .

AI-filled updates to the next versions of Apple software are meant to empower the billions of people who use the company’s devices to do more in less time, while giving them access to creative tools that can bring things to life. For example, Apple will apply artificial intelligence to allow people to create emojis called “Genmojis” to match the vibe they’re trying to convey.

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, told reporters that Apple’s goal with artificial intelligence “is not to replace users, but to empower them.” Users will also have the ability to access device settings to disable unwanted AI tools.

Monday’s showcase was aimed at allaying concerns that Apple will lose its edge with the advent of artificial intelligence, which is expected to be as revolutionary as the introduction of the Phone in 2007. Both of Google and Samsung They have already released smartphone models that feature artificial intelligence as their main attraction, while Apple has stayed put an uncharacteristically prolonged sales decline.

The artificial intelligence craze is the main reason why Nvidia, the main maker of the chips that underpin the technology, has seen its market value rocket to around $300 billion by the end of 2022. about $3 trillion. The meteoric rise has allowed Nvidia to overtake Apple as the second most valuable company in the US. Earlier this year, Microsoft overtook the iPhone maker for its hitherto successful push into artificial intelligence.

Investors weren’t as impressed by Apple’s AI presentation as the crowds that flocked to the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, to see it. Apple shares fell nearly 2% on Monday.

Despite this negative reaction, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives argued in a research note that Apple is “on the right track.” He hailed the launch as a “historic” day for the company, which has already reshaped the technology industry and society.

In addition to pulling AI tricks out of its bag, Apple also used the conference to confirm that it will be rolling out a technology called Rich Communications Service, or RCS, to its iMessage app. The technology should improve the quality and security of messaging between the iPhone and devices such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel running Android software.

A change with the next version of iPhone operating software will not remove the blue bubbles that indicate texts from iPhones and the green bubbles that indicate texts sent from Android devices — a distinction that has become a source of social stigma.

In another upcoming change to the iPhone’s messaging app, users will be able to write a text in advance (or compose it with AI) and set a specific time to send it automatically.

Monday’s presentation marks the second year in a row that Apple has made a splash at its developer conference, using it to launch a modern form of technology that other companies already use.

Last year, Apple provided an early look at its mixed reality headsetThe Vision Pro wasn’t released until early 2024. Even so, Apple’s push into mixed reality — with a twist it’s billed as “spatial computing” — has raised hopes of more consumer interest in the niche technology.

Part of that optimism stems from that Apple history releasing the technology later than others, then using flashy designs and slick marketing campaigns to make up for its late start.

Bringing more AI to the iPhone is likely to raise privacy concerns — a topic Apple has gone to great lengths to ensure its loyal customers can trust not to pry too deeply into their private lives. Apple spoke extensively on Monday about its efforts to build strong privacy protections and controls around its AI technology.

One way Apple tries to reassure consumers that the iPhone won’t be used to spy on them is by using its own chip technology, so many of its AI-powered features are managed in the device itself, rather than in remote data centers. cloud.” Going this route would also help protect Apple’s profit margins, since AI processing through the cloud costs much more than running it on a single device.

When Apple users make requests to the AI ​​that require more computing power than is available on the device, the tasks will be handled by what the company calls a “private cloud,” which should protect personal data.

Apple’s AI system “will be aware of your personal information without collecting your personal information,” Federighi said.