OpenAI might have just given us our best look yet at an AI-powered Siri

ChatGPT on iPhone with siri
(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

OpenAI just held an event where the startup showed off the latest updates for ChatGPT. Alongside a new GPT-4o model, the AI-powered chatbot now gains voice and vision abilities. And it might be our best look at what an AI-powered Siri will do.

ChatGPT is no longer just your text-based conversationalist. With ChatGPT 4o, you can now just talk to the AI. And not just any old monotonous talking – it can even handle full-on emotional interactions. Some live demos showed off some impressive tricks: from storytelling with varying degrees of emotion to solving math problems on the fly. The AI can even respond with what seems like genuine emotion, if you prompt it with something emotional.

There's also the new Vision ability, which is like Google Lens on steroids. ChatGPT 4o can “see” through your phone's camera and help with all sorts of visual conundrums. Show it a math equation, a tricky programming bug, or even ask for hints on a jigsaw puzzle you’ve been stuck on. The AI processes visual information seamlessly, making it an invaluable tool for anyone who’s ever needed a second pair of eyes.

Let’s not forget about speed. OpenAI promises that ChatGPT 4o is faster than ever. Thanks to a single, end-to-end trained model that handles text, vision, and audio, responses are swift and spot-on. It’s like having the performance of GPT-4 Turbo but with added multilingual, audio, and vision capabilities.

How does this have anything to do with Siri?

There have been so many rumors about new AI features coming to the iPhone with the release of iOS 18 this year that it can be hard to keep track. We're expecting big things, and expectations have only increased since the news Apple and ChatGPT creator OpenAI are close to a partnership deal. And this debut of GPT-4o might have given us a first glimpse at what an AI-powered Siri will look like.

Since Siri is a voice assistant first, it'll likely rely on the new voice tech, including more emotional responses. The goal has always been to get assistants to sound more life-like, and this might just do it. Vision is one that's up for debate, but Apple might cram it in to compete with Google Lens. And, of course, speed matters when you're processing all of this through Siri. While Apple might not use all of these new capabilities, it gives us a good look at Siri's potential. And OpenAI did say they'll be appearing in a few weeks... which is exactly when Apple is set to host WWDC 2024.

At the developer conference, we expect to see the announcement of iOS 18 – Apple's next major update. Here, we expect a slew of new features, the biggest of which will be powered by AI. Rumors have so far suggested that new AI features will come to the Notes and Safari apps, among others, so there's plenty to look forward to.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.