Why all smartphones are adding artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence technology that can fix photos, correct messages and organise meetings is being tipped as the killer smartphone app after Apple became the latest tech giant to introduce the tools to millions of handsets.

But experts warned many users may be scared to embrace the technology, particularly after Apple revealed plans to partner with controversial firm OpenAI at its developers’ conference on Tuesday.

Apple’s AI announcement comes after both Samsung and Google added artificial intelligence tools to their latest smartphones and as the federal government holds an inquiry into the use of the technology and potential regulations for it.

After months of speculation about how Apple would deploy AI, chief executive Tim Cook revealed the company’s plans at its Worldwide Developers Conference in California.

Mr Cook, who called Apple’s software a “personal intelligence system,” said it would distinguish itself by using more of a consumer’s individual data to make recommendations.

“Apple Intelligence will transform what users can do with our products and what our products can do for our users,” he said.

“Our unique approach combines generative AI with a user’s personal context to deliver truly helpful intelligence.”

The AI system, to be delivered in a September software update, will feature language tools such as Rewrite, Proofread and Summarise, as well as Image Playground to create pictures, Memories to piece together movies from existing photos, and an advanced version of voice assistant Siri.

But Apple also revealed it would partner with OpenAI to install ChatGPT as part of the update, and would alert users when their data could be shared with the company.

The announcement earned immediate criticism from X owner Elon Musk, who tweeted that consumers’ information would not be secure.

“It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy,” he said.

Telyste managing director Foad Fadaghi said Mr Musk would not be the only person to question Apple’s OpenAI partnership but consumers may accept it if the tools saved them time.

“There’s a lot of controversy around the way AI is implemented generally so it will take some time for consumers to get used to the concept,” he told AAP.

“But it will be one of those things where, once it’s turned on, for most people it will be hard to go back.”

Mr Fadaghi said AI tools were likely to become “synonymous with modern handsets” and it would soon become difficult to find a smartphone without AI.

“It’s a natural progression for smartphones to become our primary AI device because we have them with us all the time,” he said.

“While there are other AI-only devices like glasses and pendants, it’s more than likely that the majority of people will use their phone for AI.”

Samsung introduced AI tools, including advanced image editing, translation and rewriting features, in its smartphones in February and Google launched more AI features, including image, audio and search features, its handset in May.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


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