Apple’s efforts towards AI have always been focused on Siri and its advancements. it was the first company to introduce a smart assistant in its devices back in the day. But lately, people have noticed that Apple is rather quiet about any future products or services as there was no mention from Apple about AI or Machine Learning at WWDC 2019. Is the company focusing on AI as much as it was previously? And are we going to see any more AI technology launched in the coming years? These are the questions many analysts and Apple lovers are pondering on these days. Today’s article will go through some of the AI products that the company has launched recently, and analyze what the company’s statements say about the progress and future goals of AI with Apple.
The most recent and awesome development was the introduction of “Overton” this September. According to the paper by Overton developers, it is a Machine Learning platform, designed to “support engineers in building, monitoring, and improving the production of machine learning systems.” This system has been used in most company’s AI products including Siri and has answered and processed billions of queries in this time according to Apple.
While Siri mainly seems to focus on Voice Recognition and processing, the introduction and development of Overton show that Apple has much more planned for its smart assistant. Overton is built to make Siri more knowledgeable and turn it into a know-it-all and do-it-all digital assistant. The end goal is to make it answer every question by itself with the maximum possible accuracy instead of returning a Wikipedia page and that’s what Overton is headed to. Apple Commented: “A major direction of on-going work is the systems that build on Overton to aid in managing data augmentation, programmatic supervision, and collaboration.”
Other than Siri, Apple has been focusing on introducing many new, and might I say, entertaining features to iPhones as well. This is supposed to make it more user-friendly. These include making it remembering and reminding about your meetings without you even set a reminder to have it point to your car without even asking, showing map recommendations according to the reservations you made or showing a list of apps you are most likely to open next. Apple is also working very seriously on its face and voice processing abilities.
While this work is being done, there is no way we can say that Apple is focusing less on AI or Machine Learning. “Machine learning and AI are important to Apple’s future as they are fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, and already helping our customers live better lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, on the event of promoting John Giannandrea, Google’s former search, and artificial intelligence chief, as the senior vice president of machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy.
The thing that has been and remains to be clear in Apple’s strategy is its focus on providing services on devices locally, rather than extensively using cloud-based tools, as rivals such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft do. This has translated into the announcement of CreateML and CoreML software which developers can use to build and incorporate AI and ML models to macs and other Apple devices. This approach is been directed towards Apple’s promise to make user privacy the priority.
Apple has also been active in the acquisition of startups and companies that can further help it achieve its AI goals. For instance, the latest acquisition of a U.K. company, Spectral Edge, is expected to help Apple in improving the quality of photos. The company uses ML to make smartphone pictures clearer, with more accurate colors.
These things show that Apple’s focus regarding AI is on providing better services to people and make their lives better whether personal or business. However, Apple needs to build more tools that make it easy for developers to create AI apps for its platforms as the company seems to be lacking in this regard. Let’s see what moves Apple has in store for the upcoming years.