Apple tests big Siri upgrade with ChatGPT-like natural language generation

iPhone Siri OpenAI
(Image credit: iMore)

Apple is reportedly testing a newly upgraded version of Siri that could use ChatGPT-like natural language generation.

The current test version of Siri is reportedly only available on the Apple TV  thanks to the latest tvOS 16.4 beta, but it's thought that the technology could eventually be rolled out to other devices. Further, Apple seems to only be testing natural language generation with jokes. And jokes delivered by the Apple TV at that.

While the Apple TV is the device that Apple has chosen as the initial testbed for natural language generation, it's reported that there is similar code found across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod software betas.

Siri, but better

Natural language generation would allow Siri to sound more human when responding to requests and questions, but it's important to note that this isn't an indication that Apple is going to upgrade the digital assistant to ChatGPT levels of capability.

9to5Mac notes that Apple instead is seeking to roll the updated technology into the existing Siri system.

The current Siri that we know today is designed to take questions and then respond based on a database of known answers or retrieve data from specific sources. That has left Siri to struggle in some instances, often being unable to deal with requests that it might be expected to. ChatGPT by contrast can call on a much larger source of information having been trained on data from across the internet and allowed to respond based on its learnings.

However, that isn't to say that this natural language news isn't notable. Anything that improves the way Siri interacts with people is sure to be better than the assistant we use today.

It isn't clear when Apple will roll the new Siri out, given the fact it's only in limited testing right now. We also don't know if it will require specific devices — will you need Apple's best iPad, iPhone, or other device or will it work on existing and older hardware as well?

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.