Apple is working on AI software that can outperform ChatGPT, which could appear in iOS 18

Siri on iOS
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

We’ve heard rumors of iOS 18 getting a major AI boost ahead of its reveal later this year. After most likely debuting in June at the WWDC 2024 developer conference, iOS 18 is set to arrive at some point in the fall alongside the release of the iPhone 16. And thanks to a new research report from Apple, we've got a good look at how AI might change the game in iOS 18.

In a new research report, Apple outlines a new AI system called ReALM (Reference Resolution as Language Modeling). The idea is that it helps Siri or other voice assistants to not just listen, but actually understand you. But, for real this time.

ChatGPT beating AI tech

Getting voice assistants (I hate to say it, but especially Siri) to grasp how humans converse is akin to teaching a cat to fetch. It's not impossible, but you'd have an easier time convincing your nan to start using emojis correctly. This is where ReALM comes in. In simple terms, it's about making sense of more conversational language, like when we say "put it there" and expect our digital underlings to know where "there" is without us drawing them a map.

ReALM essentially plays Pictionary with your screen – translating visual elements into text that it can understand, then using this to keep up with the conversation. It's a bit like having a mate who translates your drunken ramblings into Shakespearean English.

With the tech, Siri could soon be nailing what you mean when you point at your screen and say "that thingy" with the precision of a trained sniper. Apple claims ReALM outperforms old hat methods, even giving OpenAI's GPT-4 a run for its money in understanding on-screen context.

If Apple does roll out its ReALM system as part of an AI-ified version of Siri in iOS 18, it would finally make the voice assistant aware of context. It would let you have more natural conversations with Siri, and she might be able to understand what you're saying more often.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.