Apple Engineers Reportedly Working on ChatGPT-Like AI Despite Siri Design Flaws

Apple is testing generative AI concepts that could one day be destined for Siri, despite fundamental issues with the way the virtual assistant is built, the New York Times reports.

siri phil schiller
Employees were apparently briefed on Apple's large language model and other AI tools at the company's annual AI summit last month. 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.

These next-generation AI technologies have highlighted how ‌Siri‌, Alexa, and other voice assistants have squandered their lead in the AI race, the report explains. ‌Siri‌, in particular, has faced multiple roadblocks to meaningful improvements. 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."

Its "cumbersome design" made it very difficult for engineers to add new features. For example, ‌Siri‌'s database contains a large list of phrases in almost two dozen languages, making it "one big snowball." If someone wanted to add a word to ‌Siri‌'s database, Burkey added, "it goes in one big pile."

This means that simple updates like adding new phrases to the data set requires rebuilding the entire ‌Siri‌ database, which could take up to six weeks. Adding more complicated features like new search tools could take up to a whole year.

As a result, there was no path for ‌Siri‌ to become a "creative assistant" like ChatGPT, Burkey believes. Earlier this week, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, its next-generation AI engine, enabling even more advanced responses from ChatGPT.

Last week, DigiTimes reported that the growing interest in generative AI catalyzed by ChatGPT has motivated a re-evaluation of how the technology is developed at major companies like Apple, Meta, and Amazon. These companies are purportedly making efforts to ensure Microsoft does not maintain its lead in AI. Apple and Tesla, in particular, are said to be reconsidering their approach to AI.

Top Rated Comments

ignatius345 Avatar
14 months ago
Siri is thoroughly integrated in pretty much everything I own, and yet I barely use it because of its severe limitations. If I could tell Siri something complicated and have it actually work, I think my head would explode.
Score: 69 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
14 months ago
At least let us change the trigger to "Hey, Moron!"

Wait, even that will take 6 weeks. Never mind. Not worth it.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dantracht Avatar
14 months ago
I can see the bugs already.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yellow8 Avatar
14 months ago
Improvements to Siri? I say yes. We say yes. Every body says yes.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haruhiko Avatar
14 months ago
The phrase "working on" in corporate double speak can have various meanings depending on the context, but it generally implies that the company is actively engaged in a project or initiative. However, it may also suggest that the project is in its early stages, and there are no concrete plans or timelines in place yet.

In some cases, "working on" can be a vague and non-committal way for a company to acknowledge a problem or issue without making any promises or guarantees about a solution. It can also indicate that the company is exploring different options or considering various approaches before making a decision.

Overall, the phrase "working on" can be interpreted as a way for a company to signal that it is taking action, without committing to any specific outcomes or timelines. It is important to note that this phrase should be evaluated in the context of the specific company and situation, as it can have different connotations depending on the context in which it is used.

From your AI overlord, ChatGPT.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oofio2461 Avatar
14 months ago
finally, a complete Siri redesign, hopefully, they rename it this time around.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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