Sunday, June 23, 2024

Is this 1987 video the origins of Apple Intelligence?

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There’s a scary version of AI where AI takes your job and/or destroys the planet. Then there’s the version that’s much more chill: AI as a personal assistant who helps you with your tasks — remembers things for you, finds stuff for you, helps you create presentations for work.

One thing we can say at the moment: This is astonishingly similar to a vision of AI that Apple has been promoting for decades.

Check out this video Apple produced in 1987, showing off a theoretical “Knowledge Navigator” — a computer that lets you do lots of things you couldn’t do back then. Most notably, it lets you converse with a digital, bow-tied “agent” that remembers things for you, finds stuff for you, and helps you create work presentations.

This one comes to us via New York’s excellent John Herrman, who notes the similarities between the digital agent and Apple’s description of Siri, which it launched in 2011. And then Herrman connects Siri with the demo Apple showed off this week and suggests that “Apple Intelligence” might really be called “Siri, but this time it works.” You should read John’s entire piece.

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