Apple’s WWDC 2023 event may have left some disappointed as the company did not announce any generative AI project, but it was clear that AI played a significant role in the many advanced features that were unveiled. From the Vision Pro mixed reality headset to the new Autocorrect and word prediction feature, AI was present in many subtle ways.
The Vision Pro mixed reality headset was the biggest announcement of WWDC. The headset was designed to blend reality with a virtual one, making ordinary activities such as viewing a laptop or watching movies, immersive. Users wearing the headset will be able to see “life-sized” tiles of each person on a FaceTime call, and each person’s audio will be coming from their individual tile position, allowing for a more natural conversation. The headset uses Apple’s advanced machine learning technology to create a realistic, virtual avatar that reflects the wearer’s face and hand movements in real-time from an initial face scan. Avatars in video-conferencing are a key feature of the metaverse, and Apple’s take relies on artificial intelligence to make its avatars happen.
The Personalized Volume feature of the AirPods fine-tunes users’ volume experience by using their environmental conditions and listening preferences over time. To understand a user’s listening preferences and act on them, this feature is powered by machine learning.
iPadOS 17 introduced a new Health app and the ability to control a smart home item from the home screen. The iPad’s new PDF enhancements through a feature called “Enhanced AutoFill” allows the device to identify fields in a PDF to autofill personal information with saved information from Contacts. To accurately identify the spots on a page that need to be filled out and to pull information from your own contacts, the app likely relies on AI.
Apple’s new Journal app allows users to log their everyday activities to improve their mental and physical health. The app’s ability to make personalized suggestions based on a user’s activities on other apps, such as Photos, Music, or even their location, involves AI.
The improved Autocorrect and word prediction feature in iOS 17 uses a “Transformer Language Model” for more accurate text features, confirming the involvement of AI.
Despite not openly participating in the generative AI boom initiated by ChatGPT last November, Apple made its presence known in the AI scene. The company’s many software and hardware announcements at WWDC were made possible by AI in many subtle ways.