1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. Sam Altman may have just scored a major coup

Sam Altman may have just scored a major coup

Alex Bitter   

Sam Altman may have just scored a major coup
  • Sam Altman and OpenAI might be the biggest beneficiaries of Apple's WWDC announcements.
  • Apple announced an integration with OpenAI that will let iOS 18 users ask ChatGPT questions.

Forget Tim Cook: OpenAI and Sam Altman might be the biggest winners after Monday's announcements at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.

While Apple announced Apple Intelligence, its in-house artificial-intelligence tool, it also said that Apple users will soon be able to use ChatGPT in Siri through an integration it created with OpenAI. The feature is part of Apple's iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and Sequoia, its computer operating system.

ChatGPT has grabbed the public's attention since its launch in November 2022. And though it's still much smaller than search giant Google, users have been turning to the chatbot to get answers to questions instead of having to use the right keywords and sift through search results.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said in a WWDC presentation Monday that Apple wants its customers "to use these external models without having to jump between different tools." People can currently use ChatGPT on their iPhones, for example, but through its app.

With the integration, Siri would be able to draw on ChatGPT to answer questions beyond Apple Intelligence's capabilities, such as requests for recipes that use certain ingredients, the company said in Monday's presentation.

Users will have to give Siri permission to share their prompts with ChatGPT beforehand, one of several nods to privacy that Apple made as it rolled out its AI features at WWDC.

It's a big endorsement for OpenAI and its CEO Altman, especially since Apple was reportedly considering Google's Gemini earlier this year for its next iPhone release.

It also provides ChatGPT with access to a massive new user base. Apple's iOS is installed on about 2.2 billion devices, Wedbush Securities estimated in a note on Monday. And Siri handles 1.5 billion voice requests daily, Kelsey Peterson, Apple's director of machine learning and AI, said at WWDC on Monday.

Apple selected OpenAI because ChatGPT provides "world knowledge" that Apple customers can draw on, CEO Tim Cook told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday. He added that OpenAI's refusal to track users' IP addresses was also a factor that led to the partnership.

"We're integrating with other people as well," Cook said, referring to other AI models. "But they're first, and I think today it's because they're best."

Apple and OpenAI haven't revealed the financial details behind the deal. OpenAI said in a statement that "the ChatGPT integration, powered by GPT-4o, will come to iOS, iPadOS, and macOS later this year. Users can access it for free without creating an account, and ChatGPT subscribers can connect their accounts and access paid features right from these experiences."

History shows what Apple can do for the companies it partners with. Google's 2005 agreement with Apple to make its search engine the default option on the Safari internet browser, for instance, paid dividends for Google, especially when Apple started selling iPhones that came with Safari a couple of years later.

Google's dominance in online search is in part thanks to that pact. Monday's agreement with OpenAI could be the start of something similar.

Popular Right Now