Apple engineers allegedly testing AI-generated language features

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2023

With ChatGPT growing ever more popular, Apple has reportedly decided to step up its game and focus on natural-language search processing.

Siri
Siri



In February, Apple held its annual AI summit, an internal event that briefs employees on its Machine Learning and AI advancements.

The event was somewhat more subdued than expected and was most noteworthy for being the first in-person event that Apple had held in years.

However, the New York Times spoke to those familiar with the event, which seemingly offered more insight. According to the sources, engineers -- including those said to be from Apple's Siri team -- are actively testing language-generating concepts.

Generative language would be a massive undertaking for Apple. Currently, Siri needs to be fed a prompt that already exists inside its database. So, if a user asks Siri a question that hasn't already been integrated into its code, it responds that it cannot help the user.

John Burkey, a former Apple engineer, told the New York Times that upgrading Siri's data set required engineers to rebuild the entire database -- a task that could take up to six weeks. He believes that adding more complex features could take a year and doesn't believe that Siri would ever become a creative assistant like ChatGPT.

More broadly, the New York Times discusses how tech companies are now expected to keep up with ChatGPT, with major players like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft rushing to integrate chatbot features into their products.

Microsoft has already begun testing its ChatGPT features, which have been integrated into its Bing & Edge products.

Google is bringing AI tools to users in Google Workspace and opening up its AI language model called PaLM for developers and businesses.

It's unlikely that generative language is going away anytime soon. On Tuesday, OpenAI released GPT-4, an upgraded language model for ChatGPT that is more accurate than its predecessors.


Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Goodness, I hope they do something, because Siri sucks in it's current form.  Half the time or more it just does a glorified Google search or your question and tells you to look at your web page.   Not very convenient when you are multi-tasking.   I want a computer "assistant" that is working on being more like the computer on a Star Ship, not a Google assistant.  ;-)
    JP234williamlondonradarthekatelijahgbyronl
  • Reply 2 of 16
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 759member
    Goodness, I hope they do something, because Siri sucks in it's current form.  Half the time or more it just does a glorified Google search 
    Where do you think ChatGPT gets its information from?  Just because it gives you results in a conversational form doesn’t change that it’s a glorified search engine. 
    mike1williamlondonMacProradarthekatlolliverFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,469member
    igorsky said:
    Goodness, I hope they do something, because Siri sucks in it's current form.  Half the time or more it just does a glorified Google search 
    Where do you think ChatGPT gets its information from?  Just because it gives you results in a conversational form doesn’t change that it’s a glorified search engine. 
    It does more than that, a lot more. Yes, it does use internet postings for knowledge, but so do we. The internet is full of all sorts of information, and this is an amazing accomplishment. Microsoft pulled a rabbit out of its hat and left every other company speechless.
    Having said that, I installed Bing on Mac to try out GPT on Bing, and let me tell ya, Edge is basically spyware. It tries to force you to run three background tasks even after you uninstall it. I had to manually delete over 5 hidden files and force quit the continuous their app that continuously requests to reactivate the tasks and would not allow you to quit it, all that just to remove that damned Edge spyware crap! 
    gatorguyJapheywilliamlondonentropysradarthekatlolliverFileMakerFellerbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,367member
    It's more than just Siri being stupid (technologically inept, mishearing me, etc.).  The bigger problem is that Apple deliberately dummies it down out of fears it may cause trouble for the user.  For example, I can't tell Siri to change settings on my iPhone, which makes me far, FAR more angry than Siri mishearing me a making a mistake.  The entire purpose of Siri is to have it do things for me because my hands are busy doing something else.  So when it tells me it can't do that, I know it's due to a stupid limitation imposed by Apple.

    What this means is, even if Apple replaced Siri with ChatGPT, so long as the ridiculous limitations are still imposed, it would be just as frustrating to use as it is now.  I want the power to command Siri to do just about anything I myself can do on my iPhone, iPad or Mac.  That includes changing settings. Anything less is a vastly inferior product that I will almost never use and will complain about until the end of time in forums like this one.

    Apple, the ball is in your court.
    OnPartyBusinessFileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingamelijahgbyronl
  • Reply 5 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,752member
    I tried out Bing and ChatGPT today with the same question.  I knew the answer but wanted it written for me concisely to pass on to a friend asking me this.  What are the MP count and dimensions of an APS-C image taken on a Sony A7IV? ChatGPT nailed it on one with all the details and explanation, exactly what I needed.  Bing (this is the new Bing chat mode using Edge) got the MP count correct but then said it couldn't find the answer to the dimensions in its search.   I could not resist telling Bing that ChatGPT knew all the answers to this question; Bing replied, 'Sorry to disappoint you."
    edited March 2023 radarthekatroundaboutnowwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 6 of 16
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,348member
    jdw said:
    It's more than just Siri being stupid (technologically inept, mishearing me, etc.).  The bigger problem is that Apple deliberately dummies it down out of fears it may cause trouble for the user.  For example, I can't tell Siri to change settings on my iPhone, which makes me far, FAR more angry than Siri mishearing me a making a mistake.  The entire purpose of Siri is to have it do things for me because my hands are busy doing something else.  So when it tells me it can't do that, I know it's due to a stupid limitation imposed by Apple.

    What this means is, even if Apple replaced Siri with ChatGPT, so long as the ridiculous limitations are still imposed, it would be just as frustrating to use as it is now.  I want the power to command Siri to do just about anything I myself can do on my iPhone, iPad or Mac.  That includes changing settings. Anything less is a vastly inferior product that I will almost never use and will complain about until the end of time in forums like this one.

    Apple, the ball is in your court.
    A little digging an you'll find open source projects that improve the interface of a few different AI engines in graphics and Text generation to Swift and by extension all Apple systems. The contributors list contain more than a few Apple employed engineers. 

    I assume we will here much more at WWDC with Apple really pushing the interfaces as options for all developers. Maybe even a iCloudAPI that creates a user private trained model that is shared between apps. 
    watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    edited March 2023 gatorguyelijahgbyronl
  • Reply 8 of 16
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,771member
    Siri was bad before ChatGPT showed what could be done. Now it's just a really bad joke.
    byronl
  • Reply 9 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,344member
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    blastdoor said:
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    So why didn’t Apple? 

    Unless you’re (untenably) suggesting the company has had no interest in AI… 
    edited March 2023 elijahgbyronl
  • Reply 11 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,344member
    blastdoor said:
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    So why didn’t Apple? 

    Unless you’re (untenably) suggesting the company has had no interest in AI… 
    I suspect that apple might not have prioritized LLMs, instead focusing on AI/ML for other purposes. Could be that their main AI focus has been in their alleged secret autonomous vehicle project. Also, the LLMs potentially have legal, ethical, and reputational risk that made apple execs leery of going first in this space. That’s my guess. 
    watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 12 of 16
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,425member
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    So why didn’t Apple? 

    Unless you’re (untenably) suggesting the company has had no interest in AI… 
    I suspect that apple might not have prioritized LLMs, instead focusing on AI/ML for other purposes. Could be that their main AI focus has been in their alleged secret autonomous vehicle project. Also, the LLMs potentially have legal, ethical, and reputational risk that made apple execs leery of going first in this space. That’s my guess. 
    Another guess is that they were caught off guard by MS / ChatGPT and Google, right?
    byronlelijahg
  • Reply 13 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,285member
    danvm said:
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    So why didn’t Apple? 

    Unless you’re (untenably) suggesting the company has had no interest in AI… 
    I suspect that apple might not have prioritized LLMs, instead focusing on AI/ML for other purposes. Could be that their main AI focus has been in their alleged secret autonomous vehicle project. Also, the LLMs potentially have legal, ethical, and reputational risk that made apple execs leery of going first in this space. That’s my guess. 
    Another guess is that they were caught off guard by MS / ChatGPT and Google, right?
    I'm pretty sure Apple is aware of Google's ongoing projects in that field, and also aware of Google being exceptionally cautious in making them available to the public. All reports point to them being very capable, "near-sentient" according to some engineer reports which Google is distancing themselves from. 

    Microsoft on the other hand is operating more from desperation. Despite efforts to use the Windows 11 processes to either fool or pressure users into opting for the Bing search engine along with other MS first-party services like Photos, and Cloud, they had been largely unsuccessful. Rolling out a less-considered and careful ChatGPT integration was a result of that, hoping that it might give them an "EDGE" (!) and garner positive public impressions. Some early media tests caused that to explode in their face and a fast backtrack.

    They did succeed tho in forcing Google's hand into making market decisions they would have preferred to put off until all the safety mechanisms were in place to their satisfaction. Still Google is being very cautious, only integrating some sub-set of what they are actually capable of. That's good IMO. There are a lot of possible missteps and unanticipated negatives. Moving slowly is the right way to go. Microsoft was throwing caution to the wind in striving for market share.

    So knowing that, Apple is not behind IMO. It will be a few years before they need to have a complementary feature in order to remain competitive.  
    byronl
  • Reply 14 of 16
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,425member
    gatorguy said:
    danvm said:
    blastdoor said:
    blastdoor said:
    Apple’s so embarrassingly far behind in the AI game. Despite being among the earliest. 

    They should outsource this or partner for it, and move along. 
    Catching up in AI is mostly a matter of spending money, with most of that money being spent on computer hardware.

    Apple has a lot of money, so if apple wants to catch up, they will. 
    So why didn’t Apple? 

    Unless you’re (untenably) suggesting the company has had no interest in AI… 
    I suspect that apple might not have prioritized LLMs, instead focusing on AI/ML for other purposes. Could be that their main AI focus has been in their alleged secret autonomous vehicle project. Also, the LLMs potentially have legal, ethical, and reputational risk that made apple execs leery of going first in this space. That’s my guess. 
    Another guess is that they were caught off guard by MS / ChatGPT and Google, right?
    I'm pretty sure Apple is aware of Google's ongoing projects in that field, and also aware of Google being exceptionally cautious in making them available to the public. All reports point to them being very capable, "near-sentient" according to some engineer reports which Google is distancing themselves from.  
    Yes, I suppose that Google is very capable in their AI efforts, and have a large infrastructure in GCP.  Still, it look like MS / ChatGPT make something good enough to make them activate a "code red".  
    Google at 'code red' over ChatGPT, plans competing AI products (9to5google.com)
    Microsoft on the other hand is operating more from desperation. Despite efforts to use the Windows 11 processes to either fool or pressure users into opting for the Bing search engine along with other MS first-party services like Photos, and Cloud, they had been largely unsuccessful. Rolling out a less-considered and careful ChatGPT integration was a result of that, hoping that it might give them an "EDGE" (!) and garner positive public impressions. Some early media tests caused that to explode in their face and a fast backtrack.
    Maybe it was a desperation move from MS, but it looks like it worked.  Now Google is the one who looks desperate.  Yes, MS took advantage of that with Windows 11 and Bing.  And, again, it looks like it worked, considering Bing traffic is increasing.  
    Since Adding ChatGPT, Bing’s App Grew Almost As Much As All Last Year (forbes.com)
    And the recent announcements of AI in MS Office were well received.  At the moment, MS execution around AI have been very good.

    BTW, you claim it was a desperation move from MS by pressuring users to use Bing.  How is Apple different when they pressure users to have a Mac / iOS device if they want to use iMessage?  Would you say that Apple is desperate too?
    They did succeed tho in forcing Google's hand into making market decisions they would have preferred to put off until all the safety mechanisms were in place to their satisfaction. Still Google is being very cautious, only integrating some sub-set of what they are actually capable of. That's good IMO. There are a lot of possible missteps and unanticipated negatives. Moving slowly is the right way to go. Microsoft was throwing caution to the wind in striving for market share.
    It cloud be as you said, or Google was slow to protect their search business,
    ChatGPT and Other Chat Bots Are a ‘Code Red’ for Google Search - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
    ChatGPT May Hurt Google's Ad Business Model, Former Exec Says: Report (businessinsider.com)
    So knowing that, Apple is not behind IMO. It will be a few years before they need to have a complementary feature in order to remain competitive.  
    We don't know for sure if Apple is behind.  We'll have to wait at the announcements in WWDC.  But if you ask me today, I would say that they area behind Google and MS in AI.  And it looks like I'm not the only one who think that,
    AI is changing technology and Apple is lagging behind with Siri (9to5mac.com)
    edited March 2023 elijahg
  • Reply 15 of 16
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,469member
    JP234 said:
    igorsky said:
    Goodness, I hope they do something, because Siri sucks in it's current form.  Half the time or more it just does a glorified Google search 
    Where do you think ChatGPT gets its information from?  Just because it gives you results in a conversational form doesn’t change that it’s a glorified search engine. 
    It does more than that, a lot more. Yes, it does use internet postings for knowledge, but so do we. The internet is full of all sorts of information, and this is an amazing accomplishment. Microsoft pulled a rabbit out of its hat and left every other company speechless.
    Having said that, I installed Bing on Mac to try out GPT on Bing, and let me tell ya, Edge is basically spyware. It tries to force you to run three background tasks even after you uninstall it. I had to manually delete over 5 hidden files and force quit the continuous their app that continuously requests to reactivate the tasks and would not allow you to quit it, all that just to remove that damned Edge spyware crap! 
    And now you know why they give it to you for free. Caveat Emptor. Nothing is for free.
    Yup, and I was thinking 'oh it's just a browser lemme give it a go...' I quickly discovered how intrusive it is, and spent a frustrating 30 min Googling how to uninstalling it and all its artifacts.
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