When you think of AI, there’s a good chance that companies like Google come to mind. More recently, Microsoft has also been included in that conversation as the company has integrated a variant of OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its Bing search, breathing new life into the platform and making it more relevant in today’s tech landscape.
One major player that seems to be largely left out of the conversation is Apple. This isn’t to say that Apple isn’t interested in AI. The company has included hardware in its chipsets like the Neural Engine which is designed to help with AI-related tasks. The company also has its own digital assistant in Siri, but yet no one really includes Apple in these AI conversations.
Siri is a mess
Let’s face it, anyone who has ever used an Apple product and tried to use Siri knows that Siri is one huge mess. Speaking to Siri and asking it to do things feels anything but natural. This is despite the fact that when Siri first launched, its demo on stage was extremely impressive as it was one of the first of its kind, but upon launch, many users were quick to discover it was anything but similar.
This is especially so when you compare it against other AI powered assistants like Google Assistant, or even Alexa. Amazon might not be a company you think of when it comes to such tech, but yet Amazon and its Echo devices have managed to trump the competition, namely thanks to its affordability and how useful Alexa is as Amazon had the foresight to open it up to developers, allowing them to figure out new ways of taking advantage of the tech.
Whereas with Siri, for the longest time ever, Apple kept it closed, which unfortunately further restricted its usefulness and in turn, allowed the competition to gain a bigger market share. That was a mistake on Apple’s part as they had gambled on the iPhone’s popularity and assumed that most iPhone users would use Siri.
Is it too late for Apple?
So, the question now is, is it too late for Apple to turn things around? For fans of the company, the good news is that we don’t think it’s too late. For the longest time ever, many assumed that Google Search would remain the default/standard when it comes to search, but if the past few months has taught us anything, it is that Google could be on the verge of potentially losing out to platforms like Bing.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has demonstrated that natural language AI is the way of the future and that by integrating it into everyday products and services, it can change the way we use these services that we didn’t think was possible. In fact, not too long ago Microsoft actually revealed that Bing hit a new milestone of 100 million daily active users, showing that it is possible to turn things around.
It is a far cry from Google’s 1 billion daily active users, but if Microsoft can continue along this path by fine tuning its AI integration, Bing could soon be a force to contend with. This just proves that there is still a chance for Apple to turn things around, if they get smart about it.
But we also probably shouldn’t forget that Google just opened up its Bard AI to the public, adding pressure on Apple to come up with something quickly, otherwise they might find themselves even further behind.
What Apple needs to do
Over the years, Apple has been improving on Siri, but it’s still not exactly at that level where users are willing to drop whatever else they are using to use it. This is something Apple experienced in the past when they launched Apple Maps, which was also a mess out of the door, and even until today, Apple users are still opting to use alternatives like Google Maps even though a lot of improvements have since been made to Apple Maps.
What Apple needs to do now, if they don’t want to be crushed by the competition, is to start looking into similar AI such as ChatGPT. Even better, they could follow in Microsoft’s footsteps by adapting ChatGPT to their own uses.
Apple’s macOS and iOS platforms have a feature known as Spotlight, which is a search function where users can search their devices for apps and files, and also search the web. At the moment the feature is kind of straightforward, but imagine if Apple had something like ChatGPT where users could actually find the answers they are looking for instead of being redirected to another website.
OpenAI also recently announced an update to ChatGPT where the AI can now analyze images and understand it. While Apple’s Photos can identify things like food and location and even recognize faces, once again, if they were to use something similar to ChatGPT’s latest iteration, users can search for all types of images that isn’t possible with the current version of Photos.
While it isn’t too late for Apple to make a big and bold AI move, knowing the company’s history and penchant for taking their time and not hopping on board the bandwagon, we doubt that we will see anything groundbreaking anytime soon from the Cupertino company.
This isn’t to say that Apple isn’t doing something about it. A recent report from the New York Times has revealed that Apple’s engineers are working on something similar to ChatGPT, but when exactly it will make its debut remains to be seen, but suffice to say, Apple definitely needs to step up its AI game if they don’t want to be left behind.