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GPT-4o blew my mind, and I really hope Apple brings ChatGPT to iOS 18

Published May 14th, 2024 12:14PM EDT
iPhone 15 Plus Display
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Sam Altman teased ChatGPT’s GPT-4o update as something that “felt like magic” to him. He also said that people would love this ChatGPT upgrade, and I think he was correct on both counts. Seeing ChatGPT hold a voice conversation with humans while looking at images was just mind-blowing. Add the human-like speech that ChatGPT now has, and you end up with a precursor to a personal AI assistant that’s miles better than what Siri can do on the iPhone.

As soon as I saw the demos, I was hooked. We are getting closer to a future of computing where voice will play a major role. AI will be at the center of it all, ready to answer questions about anything and hopefully help you control your devices.

While we wait to get there, I really hope that ChatGPT becomes part of iOS 18 later this year. Rumors already say that Apple is in advanced talks with OpenAI about adding the chatbot to iOS 18. I already explained why ChatGPT would be a good fit for iOS 18, but that was before I saw the GPT-4o demo. Now, I’m even more excited about potentially having ChatGPT built right into iOS.

I said the other day that OpenAI’s big privacy upgrade for ChatGPT qualifies the chatbot for integration into iOS 18. As a reminder, you can opt out of sharing your data with ChatGPT for training purposes, and you won’t lose your chat history.

That privacy upgrade is all the more interesting now that GPT-4o has rolled out. You might be talking more to ChatGPT than you used to, especially if the chatbot is integrated into iOS 18.

The GPT-4o voice capabilities and multimodality just turned ChatGPT into one of the most sophisticated genAI products ever. That’s at least until later on Tuesday when Google will undoubtedly match some of those GPT-4o features with its Gemini demos at I/O 2024.

Here’s OpenAI’s GPT-4o demo again, in case you missed it:

You can ask ChatGPT for information by voice related to things you can see around. Whatever you can capture with your camera, you can feed to the chatbot while asking questions. You can share screenshots and images, and GPT-4o will even do live voice translations on the spot.

ChatGPT’s voice abilities already dwarfed Siri before the GPT-4o upgrade. But GPT-4o simply blows the iPhone’s default assistant out of the water. I’d never want to talk to Siri now that GPT-4o is available on iPhone.

Yes, GPT-4o is already available via the ChatGPT app on the iPhone. You don’t need it to be built into iOS to use it. However, it would probably be easier to invoke ChatGPT if Apple added it to iOS 18.

It’s not just about Siri

I’d love it if Siri could support the kind of conversations OpenAI demoed with the GPT-4o. If the two offered similar features, I’d certainly choose Siri over ChatGPT. But until that happens, having some sort of ChatGPT integration in iOS 18 makes perfect sense.

I have no doubt that Siri will match the abilities of GPT-4o and Gemini in the near future. But I’d be surprised if Apple can pull it off as soon as fall 2024, which is when iOS 18 rolls out. Rumors say a Siri revamp is in the cards, and we might see Apple demo the new iPhone assistant at WWDC next month.

Most iOS 18 rumors also say that Apple will bring several AI features to the iPhone this year, with many of them running on the device rather than the cloud. However, Apple will not have a chatbot of its own ready in time, hence the need for a partnership with OpenAI, Google, or some other AI provider.

Again, after that amazing GPT-4o demo, support for ChatGPT could be a great addition to iOS 18.

That said, it’ll be interesting to see what magical Gemini demos Google has lined up for I/O on Tuesday. Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote will follow about a month after that. That’s when we’ll learn at least some of the AI features the iPhone maker developed for iOS 18.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.