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13 November 2023

You likely already own the first big AI wearable

It's AirPods. The world's most ubiquitous earbuds just so happens to have a computer chip and a voice assistant. The opening is right there.

I'll eat my hat if Apple's first foray into the LLM market doesn't unfold like this:

AirPods version-whatever is announced. Maybe it's the pro line, but let's have some fun while we're speculating and say it'll be a new product variant. "AirPods Ultra" comes with a brand-new chip. It's fast. It's strong. It’ll come with some new, lukewarm feature that doesn't seem deserving of dedicated silicon. Apple likes to lay pipes before they build a house.

Then, after a product cycle or two, Siri gets its much-needed overhaul— it's smarter, more conversational, and it remembers things, for Christ's sake. But, by then, Google will have already released its LLM hardware, and Siri 2.0 will immediately feel lackluster in comparison.

Speculation before the Siri announcement had the new-and-improved voice assistant locked into the AirPods Ultra model only. This expectation leaves Tech pundits pleasantly surprised to learn that Siri will still work on most AirPods models. Write-ups on the big press release, therefore, go easy on comparing Siri to similar offerings.

Blah, blah, blah, a new iPhone is announced. Yada, yada, yada, the latest iPad still isn't a viable laptop replacement.

And then, one more thing— Siri as a Service. Let's call it Siri+.

Siri+ isn't free, but terms are favorable. Apple Music, iCloud+, and Apple One subscribers get the next-gen voice assistant bundled in at no extra cost.

Siri+ can write macros on (voice) command using the Shortcuts app— "Siri, open my garage door when I get home from work, but not on the weekends"

Siri+ can write emails— "Siri, follow up with Maria about the corporate retreat. I still don't know who our keynote speaker will be."

Siri+ can do all the shit we wished it could do for the last decade.

Siri+ will only work on AirPods Ultra (and Max, maybe), And it'll still launch the AirPods line to the top spot in AI-powered hardware.

That is if Apple can get their shit together with Siri's ethos. Anyway, I like my hats plain, no ketchup.


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