Apple Plans More Powerful Siri Amid Increased AI Spending

Apple Siri app

Apple’s Siri is reportedly getting upgraded as part of a mass uptick in AI spending.

As The Information reported Wednesday (Sept. 6), the company is planning to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) large language models into its devices to let users automate more complicated tasks.

That report, citing sources familiar with the matter, says Apple has upped its AI investment to the point that the company is spending millions of dollars a day.

With that investment, Apple hopes to do things like let iPhone owners employ simple voice commands to automate multi-step tasks, the sources said.

The report gives the example of a person telling Siri to create a GIF using the last five pictures on their camera roll and send it to a contact, something that would now require a series of manual actions.

PYMNTS has contacted Apple for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

The news follows reports from July that Apple — while not yet unveiling a strategy for releasing AI tools to consumers — was undertaking a major effort to develop AI large language models (LLMs), the technology at the root of systems like ChatGPT.

“We view AI and machine learning as core fundamental technologies that are integral to virtually every product that we build,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.

As covered here, there were just six references to AI during that call, all happening during the exchange referenced above. By contrast, Apple’s Big Tech peers Microsoft and Alphabet mentioned AI a respective 73 and 90 times on their latest earnings calls.

And PYMNTS Intelligence has found consumers want to interact with voice-powered smart assistants like Siri.

A little more than half of consumers say they would use “smart and reliable” voice technology to call for help in an emergency or get in touch with loved ones. Among younger consumers, this openness is even greater: 61% for millennials and 57% for bridge millennials.

The technology is less popular outside of emergency situations, but that could change, PYMNTS wrote earlier this summer.

“Consumers may still carry hesitation about the reliability and safety of voice technology, but as the AI-powered tools get ‘smarter’ and capable devices become more available, those views could change, and the tech may become a more regular tool in everyday life,” the report said. “When it comes to AI’s potential to revolutionize how consumers communicate, the future could well be now.”