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AI on the agenda at Apple talkfest

Press AssociationPress Association 12/06/2016 Martyn Landi

Apple will use its annual conference to announce plans to take on Google and Facebook in the fast-growing artificial intelligence arena, experts believe.

The technology giant will also reveal a new version of its iOS software that powers the iPhone and iPad, as well as updating its MacBook laptop line, at its WWDC (worldwide developers conference) event.

The conference in San Francisco on Monday will see the technology company showcase iOS 10, the latest version of the operating system that runs on iPhone and iPad.

The software's virtual, voice-activated personal assistant Siri is expected to be expanded so that it works in a wider range of apps.

Both Google and Facebook have already announced greater focus on their artificial intelligence products this year, with Google improving its Google Now software, while Facebook is introducing intelligent "bots" to Messenger that can understand requests and questions from users.

It is now expected that Apple will discuss its own plans for this area of technology.

It has also been suggested that a new app for controlling smart home products could be a part of the update, as could a dark mode for screen viewing in low light.

Also on the agenda is believed to be a version of iMessage - Apple's instant message service that works between iPhone and iPad - that will extend its compatibility to rival platform Android for the first time.

It has been seen by many as a response to the growing power and popularity of other messaging services, including WhatsApp.

Apple Music, the streaming service that was announced at the event last year is believed to be getting a redesign too.

Reports suggest there could be plenty of discussion of the company's laptop line as well, with not only the traditional annual update of the software expected, but also new a MacBook Pro, the firm's most powerful laptop, as well as a new slimline MacBook Air.

The Apple TV streaming box and the Apple Watch are also expected to have software revamps announced during the keynote on Monday evening.

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