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Artificial intelligence? Nope what. Apple isn’t saying it. Instead it has gone for the self-effacing term – Apple Intelligence. It’s still AI, it’s still ‘artificial’ but it’s different. WWDC 2024 was supposed to be the launchpad for Apple to usher in its AI era. There’s been a nagging sense — among investors and industry watchers — that Apple is playing catch-up with Microsoft, Google and Meta in the AI ​​race. Not anymore as Apple came out guns blazing and announced tons of features but handled it differently.

Apple’s AI approach is different.

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It’s no surprise to see Apple pitch privacy and user security at the heart of Apple Intelligence. Apple has always prioritized user privacy and this is a key difference from other companies’ AI approach. Apple took its time but showcased a mature AI system. Apple wants its AI to be reliable and something that people don’t have to think twice about using. Or for that matter, go to a separate app or service to use it.

What Apple has done is that it has used AI — Apple Intelligence or Artificial Intelligence (take your pick) — as a component that is sprinkled over Apple apps. Now, these are apps that people are already familiar with and know how to use. So adding AI magic to it won’t feel any different — Apple just made these existing apps smarter and smarter.

You already edit or email photos on your iPhone or Mac. Nothing changes there except that you have a nifty toolbox of AI-powered features that make these tasks better. No need to enter a command prompt or download any chatbots/apps as Apple’s integration makes AI intuitive and accessible within these familiar apps.

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Take these two examples: proofreading and summarizing. Proofread checks grammar, word choice, and sentence structure while also suggesting edits that users can review or accept quickly. You don’t need to switch to a specific app or browser – it’s just system-wide. The same goes with summaries. Users can select text and reorganize it into digestible paragraphs, bulleted key points, a table, or a list. This happens on apps too. So no chatbots, no app downloads – it just happens on the iPhone or MacBook.

Dial P for privacy.

Privacy is something Apple talks about — and delivers — a lot. So its approach is no different when it comes to AI. Apple Intelligence primarily prioritizes privacy. Most requests are processed entirely on your device, keeping your information out of sight – even Apple itself and third-party app developers can’t access it. Apple will use private cloud computing but it’s down on Apple’s own secure servers with zero access to your data. Apple has also clarified that it has engaged independent experts who can also verify these strong privacy measures. This is a level of transparency rarely seen from competitors like Microsoft, OpenAI or Google.

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Apple couldn’t resist exploring the competition when it said that Apple Intelligence is “AI for the rest of us.” This was just an unveiling though and as users start testing/interacting with Apple Intelligence, we’ll see how it performs in the real world. Apple may be late to the party but it has always been cautious and even more so when it comes to a transformative technology like AI — artificial intelligence, not Apple Intelligence. It feels like Apple’s AI moment and it’s done in the best Apple way – private, different and smart.

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