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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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iOS-9-Siri-250x213.jpg
Apple is developing a dedicated processor that will be used to handle AI-related tasks like facial and speech recognition in its products, reports Bloomberg. Citing a source with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site says the chip is known internally as the "Apple Neural Engine."

Apple plans to use the chip, which would work alongside the standard processor and the graphics chip, to add more advanced artificial intelligence capabilities into its devices and to offload demanding AI processing tasks that can impact battery life.
An AI-enabled processor would help Cupertino, California-based Apple integrate more advanced capabilities into devices, particularly cars that drive themselves and gadgets that run augmented reality, the technology that superimposes graphics and other information onto a person's view of the world.
The chip could potentially handle tasks like facial recognition in the photos application, parts of speech recognition, and power the predictive keyboard in the iPhone and iPad. Apple may also allow developers to access the chip to power AI-related features in third-party apps.

An AI chip would not be the first chip that handles dedicated tasks in the iPhone. Starting with the iPhone 5s in 2013, Apple devices have included a motion coprocessor used to collect and store sensor data. The motion coprocessor allows the iPhone and iPad to continually track movement and other sensor data without using significant battery. It also powers features like the always-on "Hey Siri" capability built into modern iPhones.

Apple has already tested prototypes of future iPhones with the AI chip, but it is unclear if such a chip is ready for a debut in the iPhone 8. Going forward, should development on the chip continue, Apple is said to be planning to integrate it into many of its devices.

Article Link: Apple Developing 'Apple Neural Engine' Chip to Power AI in iOS Devices
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,955
1,201
Silicon Valley
Apple added APIs to support DNN inference to their vDSP acceleration library last year. If they add support for machine learning training and LSTMs at WWDC this year, things could get really interesting. Competition for Google's TPU 1 & 2.
 
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britboyj

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2009
683
779
Let's be honest — Apple is WAY behind the game with voice recognition. Siri is flat out useless compared to both Alex and Google Voice. If I could replace Siri with Google Voice (including Lens) without having to have another app open, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'd just rather avoid the rest of Android.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,364
38,257
I'm looking forward to this. Every time Apple makes a custom chip for the iPhone or any other product they make, it always improves the product as a whole--just look at the M series coprocessors, the S series SOCs, and most recently the W series. Can't wait to see where this goes.

This. The M9 Coprocessor incorporated into the 6s was what allowed Siri to be hands free, which was a nice advantage. It's the little things that make the device better as a whole.

The W1 chip from the Airpods has huge potential to cross platform.

To me this, this is what separates Apple from others. They make their devices almost custom using their own flow into future devices and compatibility.
 
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Zirel

Suspended
Jul 24, 2015
2,196
3,008
And that's why they're working on first party GPUs chips

Exactly.

Looks like they are building SIMD cores that can do 3D rendering and machine learning...

Last WWDC, they also added Machine Learning primitives to Metal API, that runs on current GPUs.

The only thing missing is a killer App (Siri is not a choice because she runs on remote servers).
 
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collegitdept

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
109
39
having a better AI processor to process the data is a great first step.

But Apple's biggest problem remains *DATA*.

Without enough data, even the fastest & best AI chip - is still pretty much as bad as before


(their privacy policy is going to kill them/their future - because it's completely misapplied)
 
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wigby

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2007
2,098
1,707
Let's be honest — Apple is WAY behind the game with voice recognition. Siri is flat out useless compared to both Alex and Google Voice. If I could replace Siri with Google Voice (including Lens) without having to have another app open, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'd just rather avoid the rest of Android.
Apple is behind but it's really pointless to compare when they all suck. Some are better than others in certain things but none remotely deliver on the promise of truly artificial intelligence in any demonstration I've ever seen.
 
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dragje

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2012
869
583
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Smart move. With more Siri capabilities in the near future and more AI related assignments for the upcoming iPhones a dedicated chip to save powering that regard is no gimmick what so ever.
I also think that a dedicated chip could be a welcome thing for security reasons as well.
 
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collegitdept

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
109
39
Apple is behind but it's really pointless to compare when they all suck. Some are better than others in certain things but none remotely deliver on the promise of truly artificial intelligence in any demonstration I've ever seen.

Sorry no, that's not how comparisons work:

The market compares product(s) vs product(s)

NOT compare product(s) to a hypothetical ideal HAL2001 myth that doesn't exit


Siri is *literally* the worst of the worst of *existing* REAL products (that have been on the market FAR shorter!)
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
9,157
10,574
Philadelphia, PA
I am not so sure that Siri is behind. I have reviewed some videos and in perfect conditions, they do the same things as the other voice assistants. When it comes to the Echo and Google Home devices, what they have a leg up on, is a device with many microphones in it. This is what has allowed them to become superior. Maybe that changes with WWDC?
 
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McScooby

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2005
920
531
The Paps of Glenn Close, Scotland.
Let's be honest — Apple is WAY behind the game with voice recognition. Siri is flat out useless compared to both Alex and Google Voice. If I could replace Siri with Google Voice (including Lens) without having to have another app open, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'd just rather avoid the rest of Android.
Offline Siri AKA 2017 Voice Control , No doubt they'll spin it that no chip before could do it (despite the latest being a monster) & only because it is separated it is secure etc. I'm glad it's hopefully coming, just a bit inept u have to buy a new iPhone for a well regurgitated feature!:eek:
 
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collegitdept

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
109
39
I am not so sure that Siri is behind. I have reviewed some videos and in perfect conditions, they do the same things as the other voice assistants. When it comes to the Echo and Google Home devices, what they have a leg up on, is a device with many microphones in it. This is what has allowed them to become superior. Maybe that changes with WWDC?


Than you're looking at the wrong videos - uploaded by new users to Echo/Home

There is no comparison (sadly) for Siri. It really is *that* bad. It's unfortunately a disservice to Echo/Home/Google Voice in general - to even mention Siri in the same phrase


(Also, It's not the microphone)
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
1,990
9,217
Italy
Than you're looking at the wrong videos - uploaded by new users to Echo/Home

There is no comparison (sadly) for Siri. It really is *that* bad. It's unfortunately a disservice to Echo/Home/Google Voice in general - to even mention Siri in the same phrase


(Also, It's not the microphone)

There definitely is comparison: they all suck.

AI is in the early stages of the first part of its infancy. The small differences in capabilities of the systems you mention are nothing, and could be quickly, completely overturned by any breakthrough, at any time.
 
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collegitdept

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2009
109
39
There definitely is comparison: they all suck.

AI is in the early stages of the first part of its infancy. The small differences in capabilities of the systems you mention are nothing, and could be quickly, completely overturned by any breakthrough, at any time.


You can literally say that about any product man has ever made in existence today, right now.

But in reality, it's just called deflection ... .to go away from the fact that Siri really is *THAT* bad
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
1,990
9,217
Italy
You can literally say that about any product man has ever made in existence today, right now.

But in reality, it's just called deflection ... .to go away from the fact that Siri really is *THAT* bad

Nope.

For example, the smartphone is a mature product, silicium based chips are a mature technology, and so on...

Siri is completely comparable to the other products you mention, sometimes superior, other times inferior, but all of them just suck donkey balls. They're not AIs by any stretch of imagination yet.
 
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