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Meet Apple Intelligence, the Major AI Announcement at WWDC

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After much anticipation, Apple finally revealed its AI strategy at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

In true Apple fashion, the AI announcements were impressive and controversial—even eliciting a furious response from Elon Musk.

The biggest reveal? 

Something called Apple Intelligence (conveniently, “AI” for short), a suite of generative AI capabilities that will now come baked right into iPhones, iPads, and Macs. 

Those capabilities include AI-powered text generation, image generation, and photo editing on your devices, as well as a massive intelligence upgrade to Siri, Apple’s voice assistant.

That last part has people paying attention:

Siri will soon boast highly improved conversational abilities and the power to take actions for you across apps, all while maintaining user privacy.

How significant are these announcements?

I got the inside scoop from Marketing AI Institute founder and CEO Paul Roetzer on Episode 102 of The Artificial Intelligence Show.

Apple didn't wow, but "they did what they had to do"

First, says Roetzer, Apple's AI announcements were impressive but didn’t contain any “major wow moments” that were unexpected.

"That being said, they did what they had to do," he says.

Rather than chase huge frontier AI models and artificial general intelligence (AGI) like OpenAI, Google, and others, Apple is laser-focused on AI that enhances the user experience and solves for real-world applications, says Roetzer.

That means they’re doing AI the “Apple way,” using their own chips, devices, privacy controls, and, crucially, some of their own models to create a consumer-focused AI experience.

In other words, they're making good on their mission to simply make customers' lives better with AI, one helpful feature at a time—all while maintaining the trust and privacy users expect from Apple.

Apple is not all-in on OpenAI

One of Roetzer’s biggest questions going into WWDC was:

How deep will Apple's partnership with OpenAI go? Would OpenAI functionally end up powering all AI experiences on Apple devices?

The answer is no. 

Apple Intelligence will integrate ChatGPT when appropriate to provide additional AI firepower, but they’re not relying on OpenAI’s technology to power the entire consumer AI experience. 

Users will be able to seamlessly access ChatGPT's capabilities for free on Apple devices. But they'll get alerted any time their information is about to leave "the protection of the Apple bubble" for OpenAI's servers, says Roetzer.

This flexible arrangement also, intriguingly, leaves the door wide open for Apple to bring other major AI models, like Google Gemini, into the Apple Intelligence ecosystem in the future.

A "new era" for Siri

The other major thing Roetzer was watching for?

A Siri reboot. And it looks like it's on the horizon.

Apple says this is “the start of a new era for Siri.” That new era will include a Siri with context awareness, the ability to take actions on your behalf, and upgraded language skills for things like summarization and email replies.

According to Roetzer, Siri's pending transformation—and the broader Apple Intelligence rollout—could be a computing paradigm shift on par with the iPhone.

Just like the iPhone made touchscreens ubiquitous, he predicts Apple's AI moves could make reliable voice interfaces a primary way we interact with all our devices, from Macs to AirPods to smarter glasses.

Elon Musk is furious about all of it

Elon Musk came out guns blazing against Apple's integration of OpenAI's technology, going so far as to say he would ban Apple devices at his own companies.

 

To Roetzer, Musk's comments smack of an "immediate overreaction" driven more by his personal beef with OpenAI than any real danger of Apple handing the company troves of user data.

The market shrugs?

Roetzer was eager to see how the stock market would react to Apple's AI news immediately in the aftermath of these initial announcements. Would shares soar on the company's aggressive entry into the space? Or would a lack of truly mind-blowing moments disappoint investors?

In the end, Apple's stock was down about 1.8% after the WWDC keynote. Though, days later, their stock is rebounding nicely to all-time highs.

Roetzer's takeaway?

While Apple didn't blow minds this week, they proved they're dead serious about doing AI on their own terms.

By building sophisticated models optimized for real-world use cases—and doing it all with respect for user trust and privacy—Apple is poised to make AI an invisible yet indispensable part of our everyday lives.

One thing is certain, though:

The AI arms race just got a whole lot more interesting.

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