This Siri replacement may be the closest thing to having ChatGPT on your iPhone

Siri’s 11-year reign may be drawing to a close as a new generative AI rival called Perplexity has just landed on the Apple App Store.

Note that Perplexity is not based on ChatGPT and has its own AI. However, it does function in a similar manner to ChatGPT. You ask it a question, like who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’ll churn out a response in a few seconds. From there, you can either type in a follow-up question, use the voice command feature to verbally ask questions, or choose one from the generated selection. Responses can then be shared via a messaging app or social media platform. It’ll even save “your thread history so you can pick up where you left off,” according to the App Store listing. But unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity actually provides the sources it used to generate content. Underneath, you will see citations from Wikipedia, local news sites, and national newspapers like NPR accompanied by a brief piece of text providing context. 

To use Perplexity, you will need an iPhone supporting iOS 16 or later to install the app or an M1 Mac sporting macOS 13.0 or later.

As for an Android version, it doesn’t appear the developers behind Perplexity have any plans to make one at the time of this writing. We reached out to the team via the official PerplexityAI Discord channel, but haven’t heard back yet. The closest thing you can do is use the AI through a web browser on your Android device or Windows computer. There’s also a Chrome extension available if you prefer more direct access.

Perplexity on an iPhone

Perplexity on an iPhone (Image credit: PerplexityAI/Twitter)

Siri's future

With the introduction of Perplexity on iPhone, you essentially have some form of ChatGPT-like AI on every Apple platform and we don’t mean accessing the generative AI through a web browser. Mac computers have MacGPT, a native app offering quick access on desktops that saw a big update recently. A couple of weeks ago, the Apple Watch got Petey as an easily accessible, on-device assistant to replace Siri.

So we can’t help but wonder what’s cooking behind the scenes at Apple Inc. The company has been suspiciously quiet, allowing the likes of ChatGPT to roam on its platform unfettered as third-party apps. It's unlike Apple to just leave this new trend in the tech industry alone so it must be up to something. The closest indication we currently have is Apple enacting some new rules on its App Store for generative AI. According to a report by CNBC, it recently rejected an update to the BlueMail app due to concerns about the software’s ChatGPT feature not including a filter to protect minors from inappropriate content.

The date for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 has been set for June 5. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes, if any, Siri may get. It'll be interesting to see if the long-standing virtual assistant will get a revamp allowing it to go toe-to-toe with its newfound rivals or be thrown out for a brand new AI model. 

Until then, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best virtual assistants for 2023

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Google’s cookie replacement plan just passed a major hurdle

Google's plan to replace third-party cookies with its new Privacy Sandbox standards is one step closer to becoming a reality after receiving approval from the UK's competition regulator.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has formally accepted the search giant's commitments regarding how it will develop its new standards in such a way that they don't impede competition or unfairly benefit Google's advertising business.

In a press release, chief executive at the CMA, Andrea Coscelli explained that while the regulator has approved Google's new set of standards, it will still be keeping a 'close eye' on the search giant as it develops these proposals, saying:

“The commitments we have obtained from Google will promote competition, help to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguard users’ privacy. While this is an important step, we are under no illusions that our work is done. We now move into a new phase where we will keep a close eye on Google as it continues to develop these proposals. We will engage with all market participants in this process, in order to ensure that Google is taking account of concerns and suggestions raised.”

Privacy Sandbox proposals

After abandoning its original FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) proposal, Google recently introduced a substitute called Google Topics that will serve ads to users based on broad interest categories as opposed to using granular and often more sensitive data collected by third-party cookies.

Now that the CMA has formally accepted the company's commitments, they have become legally binding and Google has said that it will apply them globally. As part of these commitments, the company will develop its Privacy Sandbox proposals in a way that's transparent and it will also publish test results.

Google has also confirmed that it won't remove third-party cookies from Chrome until the CMA gives the all clear that its new alternatives don't raise any competition concerns. At the same time, the search giant won't share data within its business in a way that is unfair and gives it an edge over its competitors.

There is still some time left until Google phases out third-party cookies in Chrome as the company plans to put its Privacy Sandbox standards in place by the end of next year. However, other browsers such as Firefox and Safari have already decided to block third-party cookies outright.

Via The Verge

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