This app just got me excited for the future of AI on Macs

Two screenshots of the AI ​​feature in use in iA Writer.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

In a year when almost every tech company is talking about AI, Apple has remained silent. However, that doesn’t mean Apple-focused developers aren’t taking matters into their own hands. The update to iA Writer, the popular Mac writing app, has me really excited to see what Apple’s ultimate take on AI will be.

In the iA Writer 7 update, you will be able to use text generated by ChatGPT as a starting point for your words. The idea is that you get the idea from ChatGPT, then tweak its output by adding your own unique flavor to the text, making it your own in the process. Most apps that use generative AI do so in a way that basically hands the reins over to artificial intelligence, such as an email client that composes messages for you or a collaboration tool that summarizes your meetings. Is.

However, things are a little different with the popular writing app iA Writer – and the result is a nuanced and ethically minded take on generative AI that feels like something Apple itself could do.

“Working Responsibly with AI”

So, here’s how it works. Any text pasted from ChatGPT is grayed out by IA Writer. Any text you change or replace turns black, indicating that you wrote it yourself. iA Writer’s developer says it will turn ChatGPT into a “dialogue partner” rather than a ghostwriter, where there is a risk that “it will take over and you will lose your voice.”

However, the app won’t automatically recognize the pasted text as coming from ChatGPT – you’ll have to mark it yourself by right-clicking and selecting Paste As > AI > Enable Authorship, There are also options to mark pasted text using keyboard shortcuts and menus.

If you leave the writing app and ask ChatGPT to edit a paragraph created in iA Writer, you can tell the app by right-clicking and choosing > Paste edits from AI, And if you want to tell AI Writer that the words you are entering are created by itself rather than by AI, you can select > Paste as me,

The developers of iA Writer say that assigning authorship in this way is “new, useful, and a prerequisite for working responsibly with AI text generation.” He continued: “We think everyone will benefit from a future where we can see what machines process and what humans feel, think and express with their hearts and minds.”

This means that the iA Writer update is not designed to detect AI plagiarism. In fact, the developer says that “it’s up to you to decide how honest you want to be with yourself.” However, done properly, it can turn ChatGPT into a useful assistant that improves your writing without stifling your voice.

The future of Apple AI

This update to iA Writer is rolling out on macOS, iPadOS, and iOS, but it will also come to Windows and Android sometime soon.

And of course, iA Writer isn’t the only third-party Mac app, nor will it be the last. But this is a preview of the kind of thing Apple will need to fully address at some point. It has its own first-party apps that are starting to look a little dated compared to its competitors. Google, Adobe, and Microsoft have all adopted generative AI wholesale and integrated it into almost every software they use. Without a doubt, Windows CoPilot is a prime example. Apple’s own solution to fully bringing AI into its products will likely look different — but it will definitely need to happen. Some?,

We’re expecting this to be a major focus at WWDC 2024 next June, where we hope to see a broader view of how Apple tackles AI.

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