Apple's chatbot ambitions halted by major obstacle

Onur Demirkol
Mar 16, 2023

Last month, employees were briefed at the annual AI summit on Apple's upcoming LLM and many different AI tools. However, Siri's major design flaws make it hard for engineers to move fast.

According to a report by MacRumors, the latest AI event of Apple included very important information. The company revealed internally that engineers, including the Siri team, "have been testing language-generation concepts every week in response to the rise of chatbots like ChatGPT."

The report mentions that Siri is beyond expectations and not being used as anticipated is because of multiple roadblocks to meaningful improvements. One of the former Apple engineers, John Burkey, said Siri is built on a "clunky code that took weeks to update with basic features," in an interview with The New York Times. Apparently, it is very hard to add basic features and improvements to Siri, making it hard for Apple to bring game-changing abilities. Burkey also doesn't believe Siri to become a creative assistant like ChatGPT.

Apple wants to catch Microsoft and OpenAI and lead the artificial intelligence industry, but something is holding back the engineers.

Apple wants to ensure Microsoft doesn't lead AI

OpenAI started a new era with ChatGPT, and now all the tech giants are trying to keep up with it. Microsoft continues its heavy investments in OpenAI and artificial intelligence in general, while Google is trying to launch Bard as well as multiple other projects. OpenAI launched GPT-4 a couple of days ago and set the bar even higher, making it hard for other tech giants even to get close.

Even though Siri has major design issues, Apple is keen on keeping up with the trends and hopping on the bandwagon to catch others. Siri might cause issues for engineers; as Burkey says, even adding a single word to its database takes too much time. Apple might be late for the party as the engineers are clearly taking the longer road.

On a side note, Apple held its internal AI summit last month. Gurman said the event would take place in the Steve Jobs Theather at the Apple HQ, and the in-person event would also be streamed to employees. Exactly the way Apple used to hold media events before the pandemic.

If you want to know how to use Siri as an AI-powered chatbot with OpenAI's ChatGpt, check this article out!


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