Apple Intelligence

Apple Intelligence is forecast to release as a beta in Autumn 2024 and as a full version in 2025.  It will be included in new IOS (IOS 18) and MacOS (Sequoia) versions but only hardware based on more recent Apple chips (Apple M1, M2, M3, and M4 chips and the A17 Pro chipset) will support it.  It brings with it the risks from Shadow AI that Kindus has previously discussed.

Apple Intelligence aims to use the personal data it already has to make decisions or suggestions that will save the user time and trouble.  Messages will be prioritised, content suggested, conversations summarised and replies created.  This could be the best and the worst of the world of autocomplete.  Communications could be easier but might lead to costly mistakes if suggestions are not checked before sharing.  It is not clear if this new service can be turned off either in whole or in part.  Corporate users running IOS on a MDM restricted environment have a number of options to lock down what iPhones and iPads can do.  The current list has not been updated with any AI blocking features.

Image creation features include creating a finished image from a rough sketch, more emojis and improved image search.  Excepting the copyright implications of AI generated artwork for the original source artist there would be fewer chances for it all to go wrong with images than in data manipulation.  Siri will be updated using AI to hopefully better understand user instructions.  These can now be entered by text as well as voice command.  Some degree of access to ChatGPT is also expected.

Apple claim that their new AI will have access to personal documents and emails including data from the cloud but any information created by it is encrypted and only stored on the local device.  So in theory the data that their AI uses and creates is secure.  It could not be compromised through an attack on Apple’s servers but like any data store would be vulnerable to unauthorised access through the (apparently) genuine device holder’s Apple account.  Apple have various barriers in place to reduce the risk of identity theft.  The flip side to this is that anyone who has genuinely forgotten their passwords, memorable answers or lost access to recovery email accounts can find themselves locked out of their systems.  For a genuine owner creating a new account is always an option (if proof of purchase can be provided to Apple) but with the consequent loss of data and purchased applications.

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