Apple has unveiled the iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 complete with a plethora of new features, including a USB C charging cable, improved gaming and better processing. However, many were surprised to see the phone fitted with machine learning capabilities, as Apple has continually refused to address the issue of artificial intelligence (AI).
Despite Apple notably leaving AI out of all of the conferences leading up to its iPhone 15 release, the emerging technology is enabling many of the phone’s new features.
According to an Apple executive, AI built into the iPhone 15’s camera can now detect a person in frame and turn the photo into a portrait straight away, removing the current need for users to manually set it themselves.
Apple also unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 with a new processing chip that reportedly makes Siri, Apple’s decade-long-serving voice assistant, 25% more accurate.
As well as this, the chip has made the machine learning power of the watch greater. Users can now “double-tap” their finger and thumb together with their watch hand to control what happens on the watch – including answering a phone call without having to actually touch anything.
Apple chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said built-in AI is able to detect changes in blood flow when users tap their fingers together, giving users the freedom to multi-task.
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The iPhone maker has set itself apart from other major companies with its approach to AI. Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google have pushed the emerging technology to the forefront of everything it does, while Apple has preferred to harness the technology behind the scenes.
Both Microsoft and Google have opted to pursue generative AI, which has soared in popularity since Microsoft-backed OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022.
So far this year, the US has raised $5.7bn in generative AI funding over 138 deals, according to research company GlobalData. This makes the US the current global leader by a substantially large margin.
Germany, is currently second globally, with $182m raised in generative AI funding across nine deals.
GlobalData estimates the total AI market will be worth $383.3bn in 2030, implying a 21% compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2030.