Apple’s WWDC keynote showed the tech giant’s jump into AI is along the lines of a personal assistant with more privacy emphasis than its competitors, though many features are copycats of what Google and Facebook have already offered for years.

Monday morning was the big annual Apple iOS nerdgasm known as the WWDC keynote address, and this year’s iteration showed just how much this Worldwide Developers’ Conference keynote event has evolved since the Steve Jobs days. It’s not in San Francisco anymore, but more significantly, it’s not even a live event anymore. The whole thing was clearly pre-recorded, somebody somewhere just hit the Play button, and Apple devotees worldwide obligatorily went berserk. The 90-minute keynote is seen below.

As KGO points out, Apple device sales are declining, and their recent ads indicate the company may be losing its touch. So of course in this era of irrational AI exuberance, this keynote was supposed to establish Apple as a glorious new player riding onto the AI scene. The video addresses, wherein Apple senior exec Craig Federighi would fake-jump out of airplanes while other Apple execs were fake-depicted as quasi-superheroes, made curiously frequent use of Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart.”

Because nothing says cutting-edge AI like a band that hasn’t had a hit in 35 years.

To be fair, Monday’s keynote was an “all things iOS” amalgam that covered a wide range of products. There were new features announced for Apple’s $4,000 headset that is owned by a not-even negligible portion of the population, and promotions for AppleTV+, which has a penchant for canceling its best shows.

Still, there were some potentially cool features announced for the new iOS 18. Notably, Messages will be able to send a message when you don’t have reception. A “Tap to Cash” feature will supposedly let you send an Apple Pay payment just by touching two phones together (though there must be some manual effort to this, because how would it know how much you’re sending). And they are also touting the “biggest Photos redesign ever,” which could be helpful, because we all have unnavigable thousands of too many pictures on our phones.

Image: Apple via Youtube

But the big announcements here are obviously AI-related. Federighi said Apple’s AI efforts would be a “personal intelligence system” geared toward “you and your needs,” and with a focus on privacy that certainly no one else in the industry would make. Because, as he claimed, all of the AI processing will happen directly on your device.

“You should not have to hand over all of the details of your life to be warehoused and analyzed in someone’s AI cloud,” Federighi said. In the old days, the live audience would have gone nuts over that line! Alas, there was no live audience.

Federighi that this AI could “rewrite, proofread, and summarize text” in your emails or other communications. Siri will supposedly pull up a specific photo in your library on command.  And Federighi added that “You can create totally original images” with this AI, though come on, we all know that these "totally original images” will likely be ripped off from someone else.

Image: Apple via Youtube

There is the capacity to perform voice commands that may be useful. But of course, we have not seen the effectiveness of these voice commands in a real world setting, and whether or not they will just start spitting out porn results because the bots don’t know any better.

Image: Apple via Youtube

And you can create an avatar of someone to jazz up your text messages, though this is not too different from the "memoji" that iOS has had for years.

Image: Apple via Youtube

Similarly, this AI-powered “Smart Reply” is exactly what Gmail and Microsoft have been offering for quite some time, and I do not see the upgrade here.

Image: Apple via Youtube

But this “Genmoji” capability looks fun, where you can create a custom emoji instantly just by asking — in this case, it’s a dinosaur in a tutu on a surfboard.

Of course Apple Intelligence will have ChatGPT integration. And OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sure did his part to juice Apple’s stock price today to return the favor.

Image: Apple via Youtube

It is somewhat refreshing that Apple is not trying to sell you anything new here, you get all of these Apple Intelligence capabilities as long as your device or operating system is new enough.

But is there a way to opt out of this shit if you don’t want it? Probably not, so get used to it.

Related: Jon Stewart Says He Parted Ways With Apple Because They Wouldn't Let Him Talk About AI, or China, or Talk to the FTC [SFist]

Images: Apple via Youtube