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MIT Technology Review

Apple wants to be an AI leader again

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With today’s unveilling of iOS 12 at WWDC, Apple hinted at an upgraded Siri worthy of 2018.

The news: On opening day of its annual developer conference, Apple announced plans to make its AI-powered digital assistant Siri more robust in iOS 12 with a new property called “shortcuts.” Users will be able to create voice commands that let Siri help more effectively with day-to-day tasks, from ordering coffee to finding lost keys.

Catching up on AI: The launch of Siri in 2011 was a breakout moment for voice-activated smart assistants, but competitors like Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa have since caught up, if not surpassed, Apple’s technology. The news in April that the firm poached Google’s AI chief confirmed that it was doubling down to get back on pace.

Why it matters: Tech giants are competing fiercely for dominance in AI-powered products. While some of Apple’s competitors have burst on the scene in a big way, it has no intention of letting Siri go quietly.