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Apple refuses to call Apple Intelligence ‘AI’


“How do you shorten Apple Intelligence?” That’s the question I’ve asked several Apple employees at WWDC 2024, and their practiced responses have become comically absurd.

“We just say Apple Intelligence,” they tell me. “Yah, but do you say that every time? The AI acronym is right there!” I’d retort. The usual response is a stiff smile and clenched teeth, like a human programming error in real-time. (Yes, I’m aware it’s just overly aggressive media training in action.) One person suggested they also say “personal intelligence” — yes, a phrase that’s longer than Apple Intelligence.

There’s no doubt Apple Intelligence means many things to the company. It’s an effort to compete with Microsoft’s (still unproven) Copilot and Google’s Gemini. It’s a way to make Apple seem “hip” with ChatGPT. And it should enable a slew of new features for consumers. But Apple Intelligence is never “AI” to Apple.

Normally, I’d chalk this up to a silly branding quirk. But it becomes a problem as we cover Apple Intelligence. It’s a long phrase that’s just begging to be shortened to “AI,” but then how do you distinguish that abbreviation from ChatGPT, Copilot and the general concept of AI? During the WWDC 2024 keynote, Apple only mentioned the phrase “artificial intelligence” three times: Twice while referring to its previous AI-powered features, and another while referring to “other artificial intelligence tools” like ChatGPT.

At this point, I’ve just decided to call Apple Intelligence “Apple AI.” It’s shorter and it differentiates the product from competitors. And yes, it just means “Apple Apple Intelligence,” but everyone still says “ATM machine” and “PIN number.” It’s not my fault Apple decided to co-opt the acronym “AI.”

Catch up here for all the news out of Apple’s WWDC 2024.



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