As most of you have probably been using ChatGPT for a while now, you have become accustomed to giving very elaborate commands to this tool. In contrast, you probably couldn't avoid being stupefied by how much Siri or Alexa are still limited. Relatively simple commands involving two or more steps ("Hey Siri, play some jazz music in ten minutes") or conditional commands ("Hey Siri, light my garage whenever I approach it today") are still science-fiction for Apple and Amazon 'intelligent' devices.
The most elaborate commands Siri can manage for now are related to using Apple Mail or Calendar ("Hey Siri, set up a meeting with Bob at 6 pm").
We can discuss how far Apple or Amazon's AI R&D is regarding Microsoft and OpenAI(*). Still, it seems obvious that both companies were surprised, like everyone else, by how fast the decades-old domain of AI and large language models ended up bursting into a robust, openly available tool last year.
The irony is that I've been pointing at structural and cultural issues of certain categories of industries by explaining how they were embedded in old paradigms and struggling to get on board key technological shifts for years by opposing the automotive industry (here I go again 😙) and companies like Apple or Amazon. The first ones missed the point of becoming software platforms, while the other ones were 'digital natives.'
What seems to appear now is that Apple, not unlike the automotive industry in the early 200s, might miss this transformational wave not due to a lack of technical skills, foresight capabilities, or financial readiness, but simply a lack of cultural understanding of what is at play.
Apple was indeed a digital native company, it might not be AI native.
(*) Apple is, of course, very secretive, but AWS has been leading AI research and offering elaborate tools for years.