Apple is set to host its Let Loose event on Tuesday, May 7, where it is expected to unveil new iPad Air and iPad Pro models and a new Apple Pencil. Still, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 on June 10 could be the event to look for, as it could potentially change the company’s approach to its devices, especially the iPhone. The Cupertino-based tech giant is rumored to unveil its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy and introduce new features with iOS 18. Based on the documents published by Apple researchers, we can see the company’s vision behind it.

A report from The Verge dug into the research papers that Apple recently published to highlight that the company is focusing on making Siri, the iPhone’s virtual assistant, more efficient and smarter. While this is a big possibility, there are enough clues that tease that AI features could completely change the way users interact with the iPhone. While it is unlikely that all of the new capabilities will be rolled out at once, changes may be phased in over the next few years.

Most of Apple’s published research papers focus on small language models (SLMs) that can run independently on the device. For example, the company published an AI model paper called ReALM, which is short for Reference Resolution As Language Model. The functionality of this model is described as the execution and completion of tasks that are prompted using a contextual language. The description led to the belief that this model could be used to upgrade Siri.

Another such research paper mentions “Ferret-UI”, a multimodal AI model that is “designed to perform precise forwarding and grounding tasks specific to user interface screens, while skillfully interpreting and acting on open language instructions.” Basically, it can read your screen and perform actions on any interface, be it home screen or app. This functionality can essentially make using the iPhone much more intuitive through verbal commands over finger gestures.

Then there’s Keyframer, which claims can generate animation from static images and other AI model which can edit images using AI. These capabilities could exponentially improve the Photos app and allow users to perform complex edits in simple steps, similar to what the DALL-E and Midjourney offer.

However, it should be noted that these speculations are based on Apple’s published research papers and there is no guarantee that they will be made into a feature. Apple’s vision behind AI will be clearer after the WWDC 2024 keynote.

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