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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
June 16, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

This week at Boardroom, we launched a new content series called Michelai’s Money Talks. In it, I talk to guests about all things money, crypto, and investing. Check out the first episode featuring tech consultant and marketing maven Ashley France.

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • Apple‘s place in the AI race
  • BeReal gets acquired
  • Three new Xbox consoles are on the way

Apple Finally Gives a Glimpse Into AI Plans

Apple has officially entered the generative AI race, but it’s clearly not the leader.

All eyes were on the Big Tech company this past week since it hosted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As expected, Apple announced new operating systems for all of its products, including iOS 18 and visionOS 2. Among many updates, the new operating systems will bring a new game mode to the iPhone; the iPad is finally getting a calculator app; macOS 15 Sequoia will include a new iPhone mirroring feature; and visionOS 2 will let users transform any regular photos into spatial ones.

If I’m being honest, this year’s WWDC was anticlimactic compared to last year’s event, at which we learned about the Vision Pro. There wasn’t one big announcement that took over headlines, but we did finally learn a little more about Apple’s artificial intelligence plans. Apple unveiled its master AI strategy: Apple Intelligence.

I see what you did there, very clever, Apple.

The company defines Apple Intelligence as the personal intelligence system that will power iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Apple Intelligence will be integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15 Sequoia, and it comes with a revamped Siri, enhanced communication features, and much more. Think of Apple Intelligence as your ultimate AI assistant on-device. Apple also said it’s amplifying privacy and security as it forays deeper into generative AI.

As part of its Apple Intelligence pitch, Apple also confirmed its partnership with OpenAI. ChatGPT 4o will come to iOS 18, macOS 15 Sequoia, and iPadOS 18 later this year as an AI chatbot that Siri can turn to when it’s not able to do what you ask. Rumor has it that OpenAI inked the deal for exposure and access to Apple customers, which means the AI leader may not be getting paid to supercharge Siri.

I have so many questions about Apple’s AI plans after this week, like why the Big Tech giant didn’t come up with its own generative AI product like ChatGPT? Why is the company tip-toeing around AI instead of fully diving in? Why did it take so long to announce Apple Intelligence when it largely encompasses a lot of the AI work Apple was already doing?

A lot of what Apple announced is already being done by its biggest competitors, including Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. I’m underwhelmed by Apple’s AI plans, to say the least, but I’ll stay open-minded and report back once I experience the new features after the new operating system rollout later this year.

One thing I already know for sure is that Apple is far behind in the generative AI race, so it’ll be interesting to see how it catches up.

  • French app developer Voodoo acquired BeReal for roughly $537 million. As part of the deal, BeReal co-founder and CEO Alexis Barreyat will depart the company as the app refocuses on growing its user base.
  • Microsoft announced that three new Xbox consoles will hit the market before the holiday season, along with a long list of new gaming titles from Call of DutyIndiana JonesAssassin’s Creed, and more.
  • Elon Musk decided to drop his lawsuit against OpenAI and its co-founders a day after scrutinizing the AI company’s new partnership with Apple. Musk said he would ban Apple products at his companies if OpenAI is integrated into their operating systems.
  • Twitch secured licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Music, and other independent labels that will allow DJs on its platform to legally play music during their livestreams.
  • LinkedIn unveiled a suite of new AI-powered services and tools that will help users with tasks like cover letter recommendations, resume and job application feedback, and job search coaching.
  • After recently hiking subscription prices again, Spotify will launch a new platinum-level tier that will cost between $16.99 and $19.99 a month. The new tier will offer higher-quality audio and new tools for creating playlists and managing music libraries.

Even though OpenAI is reportedly bringing ChatGPT to Apple products for free, I’m going to bet that we’ll see a price tag behind that partnership very soon.