Apple Artificial Intelligence
Apple developing dedicated AI processor chip codenamed 'Apple Neural Engine'

Apple is currently developing a dedicated Artificially Intelligent (AI) processor chip called Apple Neural Engine to support advanced AI-related tasks like augmented reality (AR) that can integrate into existing facial recognition and speed recognition technologies. Next-gen iPhones including the iPhone 8 are widely touted to incorporate the 3D-sensing front camera with AI-powered depth detection capability.

With Siri setting the trend of Voice Assistant apps in the smartphone market, we have seen Apple's competitors making amends to aggressively deploy AI-powered upgrades to their devices such as Amazon's Echo and Google's Home digital assistants.

Now the California-based company is looking at deploying the potential capabilities of AI in self-driving cars as well as all those gadgets that are capable of running augmented reality. In a nutshell, Apple is focusing at superimposing graphics and other 3D elements into the perceptible 2D world of the user.

A few iPhone prototypes have already been tested with the dedicated AI chip wherein the dedicated processor module is built exclusively for demanding artificial intelligence processing and thereby help in optimising the device's battery performance.

Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chip and Google's upcoming Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) are said to be the best illustrations of incorporating a dedicated AI chip onboard. Google's TPU has already found its use in image recognition and driving search results in data centres.

The Apple AI chip is expected to become a norm in future iPhone and iPad releases. Bloomberg citing a familiar source, says the Cupertino Company is already working on ideas to offload facial recognition in the photos app, some parts of speech recognition and the iPhone's predictive keyboard to the chip.

In its bid to make rapid strides in the AI development and research, Apple has recently invested heavily in acquiring several companies with ties to artificial intelligence such as Tel Aviv-based RealFace as well as hiring research personnel with AI work-related background. For instance, Apple recently hired Russ Salakhutdinov from Carnegie Mellon University as its director of AI research.

Apple is expected to detail its latest accomplishments in the AI field at the forthcoming annual developer conference in June, wherein the company is also touted to unveil iOS 11 for the next-gen iPhones and iPads with a revamped user-interface.