Siri might end up King in the realm of digital assistants after iOS 18 AI makeover

Siri might end up King in the realm of digital assistants after iOS 18 AI makeover


On June 10th at WWDC 2024, iPhone users might finally hear about improvements to one lagging feature that has frustrated them for years. Ever since Apple introduced its digital assistant Siri in 2011 with the iPhone 4s, iPhone users have had lofty ideas about how Siri was going to help them. When it comes to asking for a timer or alarm to be set, no assistant-even Google Assistant-is faster than Siri. But when you have a question that you need an answer to, Siri really drops the ball.

For example, ask Siri the release date for the first iPhone and instead of seeing one specific date, you see excerpts from three websites and only the last one has the correct date of  June 29, 2007. Of course, you can read each of the three articles, but this is not quick or easy. Ask Google Assistant and you will instantly receive the correct date. 

Just so you understand, ask Siri a question about Apple’s most important product ever and you have to spend time reading through three websites to get your question answered. Use the iOS version of the Google Assistant app and you see very clearly the date that the first iPhone was released along with a photo showing it on display after being unveiled by Steve Jobs on January 9th of that year.
Forget for a moment that Siri doesn’t seem to be too knowledgeable about Apple’s history, or at least as knowledgeable as Google Assistant. Getting an answer from Siri often means digging through websites for the correct answer while Google Assistant will show an easy to find response. That is why I always suggest that outside of setting clocks, and alarms, opening apps, and making vocal requests about your iPhone, iOS users should download and use the iOS Google Assistant app which can be installed from the App Store.
According to Windows Central, Apple is working on a Large Language Model called Reference Resolution As Language Modeling (ReALM) which would allow Siri to understand the context of a conversation and even understand the content that is on screen. Researchers recently published a paper noting Apple’s plans to use AI to improve Siri. The smallest AI model that Apple might ship with iOS 18 met performance benchmarks achieved by OpenAI’s GPT-4. Apple’s larger AI model outperformed it by a large margin.

None of the AI improvements might help us get quicker and to-the-point answers from Siri, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope it does.


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