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Apple's AI Team Working on LiDAR, Smaller Neural Networks, Image Processing and More

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At an exclusive invitation-only lunch at an AI conference in Barcelona, Spain that took place on December 6, Apple head of machine learning Russ Salakhutdinov and other Apple employees talked about their work on artificial intelligence.

Quartz has obtained some of the slides that Salakhutdinov used during the presentation, giving us a glimpse at the advancements Apple is making in AI and machine learning.

Based on one of the slides, topics at the lunch were wide-ranging, including health and vital signs, volumetric detection of LiDAR, prediction with structured outputs, image processing and colorization, intelligent assistant and language modeling, and activity recognition.


One of the slides, related to Apple's LiDAR work, featured a picture of two cars, but Apple engineers did not mention cars or any automotive research, such as self-driving vehicles. Another slide focused on Apple's image recognition algorithms, which are able to process 3,000 images per second, twice as fast as Google's capabilities. Apple's work on smaller neural networks that can run directly on devices was also covered.
Another slide focused on Apple's ability to build neural networks that are 4.5 times smaller than the originals with no loss in accuracy, and twice the speed. The technique, not unknown in AI research, uses a larger, more robust neural network to teach another network the decisions it would make in a variety of situations. The "student" network then has a streamlined version of the "teacher" network's knowledge. In essence, it predicts the larger network's predictions about a given photo or audio sample.
The discussion also covered some of Apple's research focus areas:

- Deep generative models
- Model compression
- Holistic scene understanding
- Model reliability
- Deep reinforcement learning
- Unsupervised learning, transfer learning, one-shot learning
- Reasoning, attention & memory
- Efficient training on distributed computing

Going forward, Apple plans to allow its AI and machine learning researchers to start publishing papers, marking its willingness to contribute to the research community. Apple has always been notoriously secretive, but allowing researchers to publish could attract top talent that would not otherwise want to join the company.

A full rundown of the slides from Apple's presentation can be seen over at Quartz.

Article Link: Apple's AI Team Working on LiDAR, Smaller Neural Networks, Image Processing and More
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
But... But... But... Everyone told me Apple lost the AI race and they've given up

Its like sport, the first three count.....does not mean the other kids are not there to make up the number.

Giving up and not being very good at something, are two very different things.
[doublepost=1481138515][/doublepost]
The AI race is just getting started.

But like the OS war, browser war and Mobile war, they'll all end up looking almost the same.

On a serious note, I find Google and Amazon to be ahead of the pack at this stage
 

SoN1NjA

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2016
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the pool
Its like sport, the first three count.....does not mean the other kids are not there to make up the number.

Giving up and not being very good at something, are two very different things.
[doublepost=1481138515][/doublepost]

On a serious note, I find Google and Amazon to be ahead of the pack at this stage
Its a joke about how lots of apple haters and news sites keep saying that
I personally know Apple is doing great in the AI field
 
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mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
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Somebody's keen to get out some counter-narratives this season.

Meanwhile in my inbox this week I see Amazon have launched all manner of AI services on AWS - image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, AI conversation handling...all available to barely-competent coders like me.
 

zulkiflim

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2008
256
129
Singapore
Research is important...
But keeping customers is also important.

Apple want to build an ecosystem heavily reliant on integration and yet it prices the products out of reach.
That is a stupid move.

Apple need to see the move by Microsoft / Google ..they are making leaps and bounds in design and integration.
Apple WAS in the lead.


Apple..SIRI is a complete embarrassment.
Machine learning?? It does not even know CONTEXT !!

Mossberg and MKBHD have call you out....god even Barbara Streisand !!
Take a hint!!
 

StevieD100

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2014
630
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Living Dangerously in Retirement
Research is important...

Apple..SIRI is a complete embarrassment.
Machine learning?? It does not even know CONTEXT !!
The functionality of SIRI is about 999 out of 1000 on my list of 'things that are important'
It is just not important.
Until AI's are able to work like HAL 9000 (from 2001) they are just MEH!
There are far more important things to get right when it comes to developing a secure advanced ecosystem.
 

twa440

Suspended
Aug 2, 2016
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Yeah, in a few years times, but it will have wheels.
At this point they might as well license Mac OS to other vendors.
[doublepost=1481141469][/doublepost]
The functionality of SIRI is about 999 out of 1000 on my list of 'things that are important'
It is just not important.
Until AI's are able to work like HAL 9000 (from 2001) they are just MEH!
There are far more important things to get right when it comes to developing a secure advanced ecosystem.
I must be using it wrong.
 
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thecb4

macrumors newbie
Aug 31, 2015
7
8
Atlanta, GA
Somebody's keen to get out some counter-narratives this season.

Meanwhile in my inbox this week I see Amazon have launched all manner of AI services on AWS - image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, AI conversation handling...all available to barely-competent coders like me.

Because they are all trying to use the data to sell you something else. That's the business model.

It will be interesting to see how much Apple actually shares given their business model is not based on ad revenue or determining when you should next purchase washer detergent.
 

Rob_2811

macrumors 68020
Mar 18, 2016
2,210
3,714
United Kingdom
Somebody's keen to get out some counter-narratives this season.

Meanwhile in my inbox this week I see Amazon have launched all manner of AI services on AWS - image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, AI conversation handling...all available to barely-competent coders like me.

Saw that. Looks interesting. :cool:
 

shelt

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2007
78
69
NorCal
How about assigning one or two of your bazillion employees to a forward thinking new project -- a powerful i7-based desktop computer with modern parts and the ability to upgrade? It should take about two weeks...
 
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mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
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Because they are all trying to use the data to sell you something else. That's the business model.

It will be interesting to see how much Apple actually shares given their business model is not based on ad revenue or determining when you should next purchase washer detergent.

AWS isn't a consumer facing product, so it's not really in that crowd. It provides back-ends to other companies (including giants like Netflix, Redit, Pinterest etc.) for their own cloud offerings. The AWS AI launches are going to put AI into a lot of services, small or large. So much so in fact, that whatever Apple is secretly working on, could be really old news by the time it becomes a product. Apple only just added image recognition into Photos, and now it's available to anyone running any kind of cloud service public or private, large or small (for a fee).
 
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djcerla

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2015
1,843
7,733
Italy
Research is important...
But keeping customers is also important.

Apple want to build an ecosystem heavily reliant on integration and yet it prices the products out of reach.
That is a stupid move.

Apple need to see the move by Microsoft / Google ..they are making leaps and bounds in design and integration.
Apple WAS in the lead.


Apple..SIRI is a complete embarrassment.
Machine learning?? It does not even know CONTEXT !!

Mossberg and MKBHD have call you out....god even Barbara Streisand !!
Take a hint!!

Seriously? Apple's ecosystem is the largest and more lucrative, by far and away, despite the firm only competes in the high end.

It's a complete domination in smartphones with >90% profits of the sector, tablets and PC's (around 60%). All these figures are growing fast, as are the revenues in services, related to the booming installed base.
 
Last edited:
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
It will be interesting to see how much Apple actually shares given their business model is not based on ad revenue or determining when you should next purchase washer detergent.
Don't confuse primary business model with entire business model. Advertising is still a component of Apple's business. Otherwise they would completely discontinue targeted ads.

AWS isn't a consumer facing product, so it's not really in that crowd. It provides back-ends to other companies (including giants like Netflix, Redit, Pinterest etc.) for their own cloud offerings. The AWS AI launches are going to put AI into a lot of services, small or large. So much so in fact, that whatever Apple is secretly working on, could be really old news by the time it becomes a product. Apple only just added image recognition into Photos, and now it's available to anyone running any kind of cloud service public or private, large or small (for a fee).
So many people don't get this. They get myopic when it comes to Apple. I said earlier in the thread it's great that Apple is finally letting it's people be part of their scientific community. AI can benefit more from shared info instead of work done in secret silos.
 

Karma*Police

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2012
1,908
1,402
Research is important...
But keeping customers is also important.

Apple want to build an ecosystem heavily reliant on integration and yet it prices the products out of reach.
That is a stupid move.

Apple need to see the move by Microsoft / Google ..they are making leaps and bounds in design and integration.
Apple WAS in the lead.


Apple..SIRI is a complete embarrassment.
Machine learning?? It does not even know CONTEXT !!

Mossberg and MKBHD have call you out....god even Barbara Streisand !!
Take a hint!!

Apple is still the gold standard when it comes to design. Just look at SurfaceBook to the new MBP... it's superior in almost every way and priced similarly.

Google's not even in the running when it comes to design. Google Pixel, Google Home, Google Glass, etc... embarrassing.

Siri knows context, just like Google... depending on what you're asking. Siri is better at task based intelligence while Google is better at broader questions. However, they both fail badly as far as true intelligence goes and it's unfortunate the media simply parrots this false notion that Siri is far behind the competition. If you use Google Assistant for any length of time and you'll run into the same frustrations as Siri; maybe more, depending on how you use it. Heck, even the presenter was embarrassed by Google assistant getting his text message wrong on stage during the Pixel launch... he didn't need Walt or MKBHD or anyone else to point out its weaknesses.
 
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