Apple’s Take on an AI Future
AI is gathering momentum in many industries. As heated debates rage on across various fields about the long-term implications of AI on human resource management, an unprecedented number of AI-powered products and services are being developed for release. But the main challenges currently hindering the mass-scale deployment of AI products and services aren’t actually concerned about their negative impact on employment rates, but apprehensions about affordability and decent processing speeds.
Given its dominance in both the software and hardware industries, Apple might play a decisive role in the widespread adoption of AI-powered devices. Given that Apple is such a forerunner in the area of AI, the recent plans for iPhones could be a window into the future of other AI applications.
Four Main Parts of Apple’s Plans to Roll out AI Functionalities in iPhones
1. New AI-powered releases: At Apple’s WWDC 2018, the tech giants unveiled the latest installment of OS updates, the iOS 12. This latest OS comes with a major AI component, with Siri AI upgrades that provide iPhone users with highly personalized “AI iPhones” The AI-powered capacity algorithm of the new OS works by taking into account what you’re doing and where you’re doing it, and then churning out relevant suggestions.
These Siri suggestions can come up with things like birthday reminders, notifications to send time-sensitive messages to others prompts to turn on the Do Not Disturb settings and many more personalized functions. The company also released a new app called Siri Shortcuts, a task automation app that allows iOS users to put together a sequence of tasks that can be launched with just a click or voice command. What’s more, Apple has made it possible for millions of developers to harness the Siri algorithms for their app developments.
But there’s still more – the tech giants have three new AI-enabled iPhones in the pipelines. These devices possess AI-based algorithms that help them establish an understanding of the world around them. The devices are powered by Apple’s new proprietary chip called A12, which comes with neural network software that gives the devices extra capacity to process speech and images.
2. New Chips that Power Machine Learning models: Apple’s newly deployed non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) can support ML models with significantly expansive memory for operations, reducing energy consumption and easing the management and upgrade of installed ML models. The on-chip NVRAM not only provides abundant memory space for the training and inference operations of ML models, it also facilitates the placement of the ML models in much closer proximity to the processor to enable quicker responses.
3. ‘Deep Engineering’ Moves: Recently, during a trip to Japan, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed plans to commission a new research and development base in Yokohoma, Japan, to buffer the operations of the other R&D bases. According to Cook, the new R&D base will serve “deep engineering,” purposes, which suggests that space will be used for researching machine learning and deep learning applications. With ML and DL capabilities, the software can gradually improve on how it fulfills its purpose over time.
4. Mass Distribution of AI-based health care devices:
Tim Cook has also disclosed details of a new partnership deal between Apple and IBM to develop and deploy health care solutions for the elderly This is in line with Apple’s recent major push to see its products enter the health care system, with major hospitals using Apple products to manage patient info, entertain patients, and a whole lot more.
Connecting the Dots
From the hints on Apple’ vision for an AI future, there appears to be a strong emphasis on machine learning and pattern recognition subsets of AI in Apple’s forthcoming releases. But the company continues to keep the public guessing. “A.I. is horizontal in nature, running across all products,” Cook stated in an interview with Nikkei. “… used in ways that most people don’t even think about.” While Apple’s releases provides some clues as to the direction that AI developments in handheld devices are taking, it’s impossible to truly predict where this pioneering technology could be taking us in the very near future.