Siri — Apple’s voice-based assistant for iPhone, iPad, Mac, HomePod, and Apple TV — could soon receive a massive upgrade, according to a report. The Cupertino company is said to be working on a new natural language technology for Siri on an upcoming version of tvOS, its operating system for Apple TV and HomePod. While the technology is expected to bring improved functionality to Apple’s voice assistant, it is unlikely that the company is working on AI chatbots to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google Bard.
According to a 9to5Mac report, Apple is working on a new framework for “Siri Natural Language Generation” functionality on the voice assistant. The technology, which is codenamed “Bobcat”, was spotted on tvOS 16.4, which is currently in testing. The publication also claims that its findings corroborate a report in The New York Times that the company is developing “language-generating concepts.”
The Google Assistant, Siri’s main rival, has developed rapidly over the years, allowing users to get information-packed responses to queries, along with witty and contextual replies to certain commands. The report states that development of Siri has faced challenges as the assistant doesn’t use artificial intelligence in any form and continues to rely on a template-based system.
While the new natural language technology is being tested on the latest tvOS 16.4 beta, there’s no word on whether it will make its way to the final release that is expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Apple could choose to continue testing these features on the beta channel.
The report also states that the same code that enables the functionality on tvOS is present on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS — suggesting that Apple could bring the new natural language technology to its other devices as well.
While it sounds like Siri is finally set to receive meaningful upgrades in the way it responds to user queries thanks to AI, it is unlikely that Apple will launch an advanced ChatGPT competitor in the near future. It is also worth noting that Apple is yet to officially announce any details of plans to launch an improved version of Siri for Apple TV as well as other devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod.