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Unlock Hidden AI Features on Your iPhone

Apple has yet to launch its own generative AI tool, but AI technologies have been silently integrated into iPhones for years.

Until recently, Apple maintained a low profile in public discussions about generative AI. However, AI technologies already play a crucial role in powering key features of popular applications like the Camera, Photos, and Siri on the iPhone. Additionally, increased public statements by Apple CEO Tim Cook on technology suggest that Apple’s entry into the public AI arena may be imminent.

Over a year after ChatGPT drew global attention and sparked a technological arms race, Tim Cook confirmed in a February meeting with investors that Apple is investing in generative AI, calling it “a significant opportunity for Apple” without delving into specifics.

While Cook kept details sparse, Apple’s research hints at efforts to enhance iPhones with on-device AI capabilities. This direction was further evidenced by the recent announcement of the new MacBook Air, dubbed “the best consumer laptop for AI” by the company.

What lies ahead for the iPhone and other Apple products remains Apple’s knowledge. Yet, unbeknownst to many, various AI tools are already in use on iPhone devices. Here are a few examples:

Clone Your Voice Digitally

Unlock Hidden AI Features on Your iPhone

While Apple may not have a chatbot, it already utilizes artificial intelligence in a feature introduced with iOS 17 last year. Personal Voice is an accessibility setting that uses on-device machine learning to enable individuals at risk of losing their ability to speak to clone their voices for easier communication with loved ones. To learn your voice, the iPhone requires you to read aloud 150 sentences. It then uses AI to analyze your voice and create a synthetic version of it.

You use this new synthetic voice for communication by converting text to speech in FaceTime and third-party compatible apps using the iPhone’s text-to-speech tools. Here’s what you need to do:

Open your iPhone with iOS 17 installed and go to Settings > Accessibility > Personal Voice, and tap on the Create Personal Voice option at the top. Press the blue Continue button twice, name your voice, press the record button, and start reading the phrases that appear on the screen. You will need to read aloud 150 sentences of varying lengths.

When the page indicates Listening, you may speak. After you say a phrase, Personal Voice will automatically move to the next one without requiring any action on your part. If you make a mistake, you can press the record button to re-record the phrase. Completing all the phrases can take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how fast you speak. When you’re finished and press the Continue button, your Personal Voice will begin to be created. You will need to connect your iPhone to a charger and lock your screen for the processing of your Personal Voice. You’ll receive a notification when it’s ready to use.

Easily Copy Text from iPhone Photos

Unlock Hidden AI Features on Your iPhone

Live Text is a front-facing AI feature already available on iPhones running iOS 15 or later versions since 2021. Similar to Google Lens, it is a computer vision tool that recognizes handwritten and typewritten text in photos. The text found in images can then be copied and pasted with just a few simple taps.

Live Text can be incredibly useful in daily life. For instance, imagine you have a handwritten recipe you wish to digitize. After taking a photo of this recipe with your iPhone, you could copy the text and paste it into a Word document to save as a digital backup. First, ensure your iPhone is running iOS 15 or a later version. Then, point the camera at any object containing the text you want to copy. When you see a yellow frame around the text, you’ll know Live Text has been activated.

To interact with any text within the frame, tap the Live Text icon located at the bottom right of the photo. Press and hold to select the text you wish to copy, similar to how you would in Notes or a text message. Then, press copy and paste this text into another application, such as Gmail or Notes. Like Google Lens, Live Text also allows you to search for text in images stored in the Photos app. For example, if there’s a phone number in a picture, you can tap it to make a call, or if there’s a word in French, you can translate it into English.

New and Improved Autocorrect

Unlock Hidden AI Features on Your iPhone

Apple has addressed one of the biggest frustrations with autocorrect in its latest software update. With this update, autocorrect has been significantly enhanced, now correcting errors more accurately and offering more personalized inline predictive text.

According to Apple, a substantial part of this improvement is credited to iOS 17’s adoption of a new transformer language model that utilizes machine learning for word prediction. Trained on vast datasets, this model is designed to better understand context and patterns, or in this case, mimic how people actually communicate, resulting in improved outcomes.

Artificial Intelligence in Photography

Unlock Hidden AI Features on Your iPhone

It’s no secret that a significant portion of the iPhone’s camera features rely on advanced algorithms and computational photography. The Portrait Mode, which utilizes AI to identify subjects and create a bokeh effect, is just one example. Another is the Cinematic Mode, which employs AI to simulate the desired aperture and dynamically adjust focus to keep your moving subject sharp. One of the new AI-powered features in iOS 17 is the Photos app’s ability to identify pets in a picture, enabling more refined photo editing.

The AI on the iPhone is advancing: Will Siri become smarter?

Alanya, Turkey – October 11, 2022: Woman hand holding iPhone 14 with home screen IOS 16 on the screen.

Since its introduction with iOS 5 in 2011, Siri, Apple’s voice-activated assistant, might soon become significantly smarter. Leaked information and expert predictions indicate that Apple plans to enhance Siri by utilizing large language models, a key component of generative AI. For instance, it’s suggested that Siri could respond to simple voice commands for more complex tasks, such as converting a series of photos into a GIF and then sending it to one of your contacts.

If this example holds true, it represents a major advancement for Apple’s digital assistant. Apple already employs AI to aid Siri in understanding language and responding in a human-like manner, among other uses.

Since Apple typically unveils new iPhone software features at its Worldwide Developers Conference, we can likely expect more information about Apple’s AI plans for the iPhone in June.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments!

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