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The iPhone Is Now an AI Trojan Horse

Today, at Apple’s annual developers conference—where new software products are previewed in slick video presentations—the company finally joined the generative-AI race. The company introduced Apple Intelligence, a suite of AI features that will be rolled out to the tech giant’s latest operating systems starting this fall. New generative-AI models will help Apple users write work memos and highly personalized text; create images and emoji; connect and organize photos, calendar events, and emails.

The tools supposedly rely on the context of what’s happening on your device: They’ll be able to identify which contacts you are referencing and pull information from a range of apps. Apple offered a quintessentially Apple example in its marketing video: The senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, plays a busy dad who uses Apple Intelligence to figure out whether a last-minute meeting will conflict with his daughter’s play. The tool pulls information from his calendar, scans a PDF his daughter sent him, and looks at the traffic on Apple Maps to figure out if he can make it on time. This, Apple stresses, is not some wonky enterprise-software solution—“This is AI for the rest of us,” Federighi declares.

It’s a helpful line, because it articulates how Apple sees itself: not just as a manufacturer of phones and laptops and a prestige movie-and-television studio, but as the central technological force mediating the overscheduled lives of upwardly mobile achievers. Apple Intelligence promises to synthesize all your disparate texts, emails, calendar invites, and photos for you. At one point in the conference keynote, an executive noted that Siri can now do in seconds what used to take a human minutes to accomplish. This is Apple’s pitch distilled: the messy edges of your life, sanded down via Siri and brushed aluminum. You live; Apple expedites.

Posted on: 6/11/2024 12:41:59 PM


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