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Apple reveals how its ChatGPT integration works on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Updated Jun 10th, 2024 3:16PM EDT
iOS 18 delayed features
Image: Apple Inc.

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Apple literally redefined AI during the keynote for its highly anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference today, repeatedly emphasizing that Apple Intelligence (as opposed to simply artificial intelligence) is the new system-wide assistive technology that will take the company’s entire hardware suite to the next level.

Apple Intelligence is coming to the company’s next generation of OS releases later this year — and, at least in a limited sense, Apple Intelligence will let users tap into external AI models including OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

We’re still digging into the details of how this will all work; furthermore, a lot of the new Apple Intelligence capabilities aren’t ready for prime time yet. Having said that, it appears at least for now that the Apple-OpenAI linkup isn’t the kind of deep, system-wide partnership that had been rumored. A couple of key high-level points to note: Keeping user data on-device, and a commitment to privacy, are at the core of Apple Intelligence, which would seem to undercut giving OpenAI broad access to user data and the like.

Also, Apple SVP Craig Federighi during the keynote pointed out that it’s in limited circumstances, such as when a user needs to tap into outside expertise, that they’ll be given the opportunity to turn to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. From Apple’s official press notes about its ChatGPT integration:

“Apple is integrating ChatGPT access into experiences within iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, allowing users to access its expertise — as well as its image- and document-understanding capabilities — without needing to jump between tools.

“Siri can tap into ChatGPT’s expertise when helpful. Users are asked before any questions are sent to ChatGPT, along with any documents or photos, and Siri then presents the answer directly.”

Importantly, users won’t have to worry about their privacy when they use Apple Intelligence to access ChatGPT. Apple will obscure their IP address, and OpenAI also won’t store user requests. Note, however, that ChatGPT’s data-use policies will apply for users who choose to connect their account.

Additional context from Apple: “Additionally, ChatGPT will be available in Apple’s systemwide Writing Tools, which help users generate content for anything they are writing about. With Compose, users can also access ChatGPT image tools to generate images in a wide variety of styles to complement what they are writing.

“ChatGPT will come to iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year, powered by GPT-4o. Users can access it for free without creating an account, and ChatGPT subscribers can connect their accounts and access paid features right from these experiences.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.