What AI features are on offer in Apple's new products?

Apple just released four new iPhone 15 models and a Series 9 Watch. How do they differ from their previous models?
Sejal Sharma
The new Apple A17 chip
The new Apple A17 chip


Yesterday, Apple launched a new line of iPhones and Watch series, with repetitious features barring a few minor technical enhancements. The company’s focus has been on improving its hardware and semiconductor capabilities, which have improved certain artificial intelligence features.

The most exciting of all is the Apple Watch Series 9, which comes with Apple Silicon’s newly developed S9 chip. The chip boasts of a dual-core CPU with 5.6 billion transistors, 60% more than the previous S8 chip, which is in Apple’s Watch Series 8. The new watch has a four-core Neural Engine, which can carry out machine-learning tasks up to three times faster.

The double tap

The Neural Engine accelerates AI operations and machine learning tasks in Apple products. Owners of the Series 9 watches will be able to perform multiple tasks without touching the screen. By double-tapping their index finger with their thumb, they can answer a call, open a notification, and play and pause music. This allows users to use their watch-wearing hand to double-tap their fingers to change functions while their other hand is busy holding documents or driving a car.

The machine learning hardware inside the watch enables it to detect subtle movements of the hands and forearms and changes in the blood flow when users tap their fingers together.

“With Apple Watch Series 9, Siri requests processed on your device are faster and more secure. Plus, Siri dictation is up to 25% more accurate,” said Apple.

A chip upgrade

The new iPhone comes with an aerospace‑grade titanium design, the same alloy used in spacecraft for Mars missions. But that’s not its key selling point. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models will have the new A17 Pro chip, an upgrade from the A16 used in 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, and 15 and 15 Plus.

Apple is touting its A17, with six cores, to have the best graphics performance so far and a monster chip for gaming. “Mobile games will look and feel so immersive, with incredibly detailed environments and more realistic characters. And with industry-leading speed and efficiency, A17 Pro takes fast and runs with it,” said Apple.

Another AI enhancement in all iPhone 15 models is that a user will no longer have to manually switch to Portrait mode while clicking a photo. The iPhone will automatically identify a person, dog, or cat in the camera view and click a Portrait picture.

What lies ahead

Apple is spending millions of dollars a day to build artificial intelligence tools, reported Interesting Engineering earlier this month. The teams at Apple are working hard in the generative AI space to create tools that would respond to prompts with video, images, and text-based answers.

Although Apple hasn’t officially spoken about it, there are strong rumors to indicate that it’s developing its most advanced large language model, which is internally known as ‘Ajax GPT.’ The model has reportedly been trained on “more than 200 billion parameters” and is more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-3.5.