Siri in iOS 18: An AI revolution, or a sometimes useful dumpster fire? | Technology

Siri Dumpster Fire 1.jpg

Siri launched with the iPhone 4S in October 2011, replacing Voice Control with a more capable virtual assistant. A dozen years later, Siri has evolved into the primary way we interact with our Apple products.

Wait, no, I’m being told Siri sounds more natural but the core technology is roughly the same. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence now means generative AI and chat bots are based on large language models.

Siri and the rest of iOS 18 will join the AI revolution in June, ending our long national nightmare of Siri being somewhere between hot garbage and kinda useful sometimes. At least that’s what’s being reported, but we don’t really have a great sense of what to expect yet.

Tempered AI expectations

Standby for a bold prediction: Apple AI will be better than Siri as we now know it, but iOS 18 won’t live up to the AI hype. What does that mean? The bar for a better Siri is low; the bar for breaking new ground on AI is high and constantly rising.

I don’t recommend anyone take a shot each time AI is mentioned at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference. The human body can only handle so much. But I’m skeptical that Siri will change such that its reputation for being frustrating is replaced. Please prove me wrong, Apple.

Will I turn to Siri instead of the ChatGPT app to quickly find facts for my curious kids? Will Siri be worth paying for, even if it doesn’t require a subscription? Will I actually use Siri on my Mac?

My hopes are so, so high. My expectations are conservative and measured.

Yes, it’s possible to make Siri worse

There’s also a risk associated with infusing Apple’s voice assistant with…

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