Apple AI Summit: Apple keeps its AI ambitions secret

By Steven, on February 23, 2023, updated on June 19, 2023 - 2 min read

Apple recently held an AI Summit event exclusively for its employees

Although information from the US giant about software updates and machine learning technologies is scarce, the event proves Apple’s interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

So we expect Apple to reveal some big AI breakthroughs at WWDC this summer. And the announcements may well surprise us as we are already promised a wide variety of ultra advanced features on Apple devices.

Also read : The 3 Reasons Why Apple Never Released the iPhone 9

Machine learning: An AI event for employees

Apple held an AI Summit event for its employees last month. The event was not open to the public, and no information about software updates or new machine learning technologies leaked from the event.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported only a quote from the event brochure: “Machine learning is advancing at an unprecedented rate, and the skills we have here are really cutting edge.

This suggests that Apple is indeed working diligently on developing machine learning for its devices.

Apple’s secret commitment to AI

Apple is known for keeping its research secret and staying away from the hype and competition of companies like Microsoft or Google.

However, this event clearly shows that the company is fully committed to artificial intelligence (AI).

It is therefore expected that tangible results will be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this summer – a conference that has been held annually since 1976 – with practical applications for users of Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

The Neural Engine in Apple’s A15 Bionic

The Apple Neural Engine (ANE) is a specialised neural processing unit found in iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. It is optimised to provide more power-efficient execution of deep neural networks compared to the main CPU or GPU.

ANE accelerates machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms by offering speed, memory and power consumption advantages over other processors.

The ANE offers several advanced features

This new processor seems to allow the development of several advanced features on the device such as :

  • natural language processing,
  • computer vision,
  • augmented reality,
  • video analysis,
  • games,
  • Live Text,
  • computational photography,
  • etc.

The first ANE appeared on iPhone X in 2017, powerful enough to support Face ID and Animoji.

The performance of the ANE processor was then improved with the A15 Bionic Chip which is 26 times faster.

Another interesting development is the recent makeover of Apple Maps with the introduction of Apple Business Connect. This innovative feature provides a robust platform for businesses to engage and communicate directly with their customers within the app. It enhances the user experience by enabling businesses to share updates, respond to inquiries, and provide personalized services through their business profile on Apple Maps. This integration of advanced AI technologies into Apple Maps showcases Apple’s ambition in delivering enhanced local search capabilities, thus providing a comprehensive and interactive experience for both users and businesses.

In a nutshell…

ANE allows Apple devices to embed advanced features without using too much power. However, we won’t really see the impact of the work done until the technology is deployed. So we’ll have to wait until this summer’s WWDC to find out more.