Apple Didn’t Release an AI Chatbot at WWDC and No One Cared

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

There’s no doubt that text and image generators have been the tech category of 2023 so far. Love them or hate them, they’ve captured the industry’s and the public’s imagination over the last 6 months. One company completely absent from that trend: Apple, and there was quite a bit of chatter about how they needed to respond at WWDC with something.

But they didn’t, and 24 hours later, I haven’t seen a single high-profile person comment on how behind Apple is here.

Apple certainly had some machine learning features in their keynote (pet detection in Photos, typing autocorrect and predictive next word generation, etc.) but there was no Siri chatbot, there was no bot in Xcode to help you write code, and there was no way to generate shortcuts with just your voice.

Instead, what Apple showed off was their vision (no pun intended) for “spatial computing” which is something completely different from what the rest of the industry is doing. Love it or hate it, the Apple Vision Pro is a bold new product that demands you attention. So while they didn’t get into the generative text game today, that didn’t even come up in most (all?) commentary on WWDC since they shifted the conversation to something completely new.

This isn’t to say generative text is unimportant, by the way. Multiple things can be interesting in tech at the same time, and I think that generative tools like ChatGPT will run on visionOS, and in fact they may be even more useful in interfaces that run even more on voice input like the Vision Pro. We’ll have to wait and see how the Vision Pro does when it launches next year, but I did think it was pretty remarkable that Apple completely ignored the biggest topic in tech right now and no one even blinked an eye.