Apple is about to release major AI news; Here’s how I’ve been using AI so far

In a few hours, we’ll find out what Apple is thinking about releasing AI-powered iPhone software. We expect AI to bring quality-of-life improvements to iOS over the next year. In recent history, there is any indication that AI will evolve so that iOS 19 and iOS 20 are as affected by AI as iOS 18. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I want to lay out how generative AI works for me before Apple’s expected contribution.

ChatGPT and Claude

85% of my AI usage consists of ChatGPT on a Mac. First as a pinned tab in Safari, then as a top-tier Mac app.

ChatGPT is the first app I put between Finder and Safari. I think this is due to how it has changed my relationship with the web, especially Google search.

Another 10% of usage occurs on ChatGPT for iPhone, especially ChatGPT Voice in hands-free situations. Anthropic’s Claude, another large AI based on a language model, has the other 5%.

I keep Perplexity installed on my iPhone, but I’m not convinced I need it with premium ChatGPT. I’m familiar with Google’s AI, but not by its current name.

I’m on X Premium (to avoid price caps on the Mac app), but I haven’t invested time with Grok. Maybe Grok X will give a reason to revive its Mac app.

Anyway, back to the AI.

mathematics

A large language model that does sophisticated text prediction doesn’t have to be good at mathematics on its own. neither do I. But ChatGPT is able to recognize cases where a conversational response is not enough. Using natural language input, ChatGPT detects when analysis is required.

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Here’s a real world example. My best friend won a free Cybertruck. He wanted to sell me a Tesla Model 3. I proposed a 36-month payment agreement between us, and he agreed. Simple enough.

However, his car loan had 19 monthly payments remaining. Plus we wanted to include insurance coverage, registration, an extended warranty and a little APR.

Explaining it in these words ChatGPT gave us a dynamic payment plan that meets all those needs while showcasing its work. I’m sure my friend could have crunched the numbers, but I appreciate being able to provide the terms myself.

I’ve also used ChatGPT to set realistic financial goals, create budgets, and educate myself more about financial literacy. Appreciate the nature of the conversation without burdening the other person.

writing

Many people think of writing articles for you when discussing ChatGPT and writing. But I’m not calling for AI to replace me. Instead, my focus was on using generative AI to hone my skills.

I enjoy and value writing as a form of communication and storytelling, so much so that I would never ask ChatGPT to write a first draft for me.

Instead, I encourage ChatGPT to be the second set of eyes on what I actually write myself. I use the Mac app Rocket Typist to extend a text shortcut; Edit it in this:

Any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors? If so, concisely list in bullets, please:

Then paste a sentence, paragraph, or entire text of my writing. I’ve been writing on 9to5Mac for 11 years and counting. However, it’s a bit nerve-wracking to pay to publish knowing that readers around the world will consume it.

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ChatGPT has helped alleviate this anxiety, making publishing more enjoyable. If I’m particularly interested in text editing, I’ll similarly use generative AI as a tool to hone my skills.

I also use ChatGPT to quickly answer queries that arise while writing a story. The trick for me is to treat the results like Wikipedia. Never rely on the text it returns. Instead, use it as an indication where to point your own research. This narrow feature certainly keeps me in my train of thought more than anything else.

health

Finally, and perhaps most personally profound, is how to use ChatGPT for health. Specifically, my mental health.

I spend an hour with my therapist every Monday morning. This helps tremendously in navigating life as a single parent of two children under the age of 12. My goals are always simple: process experiences, evaluate my perspective, and celebrate each accomplishment.

With permission, I record each session using voice memos on my iPhone. Next, I transcribe the text on my MacBook Air using the audio file and MacWhisper. I then use a series of prompts to continue my therapy session.

  • Can I show you the transcript of my latest therapy session? I'd like to take more from the session.
  • What are some things I should focus on before my next session in two weeks?
  • Any feedback about the kind of person I am?
  • What are some actionable items for this week?
  • Any constructive criticism to provide based on the transcript?
  • What about blind spots to consider? Should I be thinking about something that I didn't bring up? Something that isn't top of mind but that healthy, functioning adults think about?

I find that these prompts help enhance thinking, provoke new areas of thought, and provide closure for a period. I appreciate having a defined end point and not getting lost in the depths of introspection.

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More generally, ChatGPT was also useful for prioritizing tasks and making decisions.

Analysis paralysis is real. ChatGPT helps. The trick for me? ChatGPT shows its work. Just as with natural language mathematical prompts, ChatGPT provides a reason for how tasks are sorted and decisions are suggested.

These use cases and many more have made the iPhone and Mac more useful. I’m eager to see what incorporating system-level generative AI does for Apple.

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