Apple's AI advantage... and challenge
I've mentioned before how I think what's going on behind the scenes with Artificial Intelligence, beyond the assistant- and chat-based interfaces, is every bit as exciting as what we're already seeing. Apple's kept quiet on their own plans in the area for a long, long time. This week, though, Tim Cook let just a little bit out.
Talking with Nikkei, Cook said:
It's the "increase your battery life" part that's especially interesting here. There's no way to know what Cook is referring to specifically, but some reasonable extrapolation that can be made, given Apple's products and services to date.
Apple holds a massive and growing advantage in silicon — they make their own chipsets from the A10 Fusion that drives the iPhone and, soon, the iPad, to the M10 motion hub, the S2 system-in-a-package for Apple Watch, the W1 wireless chip in AirPods, the timing controller for the 5K iMac, and the list is growing.
That means they can build the atoms specifically to support the bits, and vice-versa. It's why iPhone can perform better with fewer cores, and have greater power efficiency even with a smaller battery.
We've seen Apple's AI, Machine Learning (ML), and Computer Vision (CV) efforts to date in everything from Siri to Proactive to Photos search. That's all in the software. What happens when it's baked into the silicon?
Previously we could launch apps with icons. Now we can launch actions with 3D Touch. What happens when iPhone has a reasonable chance of predicting what app and what action you're going to launch next — at the chipset level?
What happens when it can intelligently manage power not just based on what you are doing, but what it's learned you will be doing?
Worst case, if it messes up or you do something extraordinary, it's a wash. Best case, the order of efficiency is improved significantly.
Cook is remarkably straightforward when he speaks. When he says AI is "horizontal in nature, running across all products," take him at his word and consider the implication, then consider it again from a company that has full vertical integration from server to interface to device chipset, and will eventually have AI running horizontally across all of it.
A10 Fusion and Siri wouldn't have nothing on that stack.
And best of all, it fits in perfectly with Apple's stance on security and privacy. They still won't need to harvest your data to feed their machine. They can happily learn your data locally, combine what's needed from the public cloud, and give you all the benefits.
It's an incredible advantage, if Apple can take advantage of it. Because that's the equally big challenge here, and it's something the company has struggled with since ramping up its AI efforts with Siri.
Google, Amazon, and Facebook don't go down to the metal, at least not yet. But Apple needs to not only reach for those clouds — they need to nail them.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
phone switcher). Apple is so far behind Google in the AI arena that they may never catch up. Google Now works great especially for travel. I don't think that advanced ARM chips in the iPhone can close the gap with the server farms Google has at it's disposal.
iOS 9, I could tell Siri, "remind me about this email in 30 minutes." It worked well. Now in iOS 10, 90% of the time it creates a reminder with no link simply titled literally "this email". WTF?!
I still can't voice dial saved Company contacts. For example, I have several of my distributors & a couple tech support numbers saved in my contacts. I ask Siri to "call Crestron tech support" (Crestron is the company name, I made a custom phone label as tech support, like mobile/work/etc). It replies, "Sorry, I don't see Chris Tron in your contacts" WTF?!? So I ended up adding the f'n name Chris Tron to that contact!
Voice recognition is only about 75% accurate across the board. I can't whisper to my phone or watch.
Using Bing for internet searches is ridiculous.
OH... and my favorite - I enter my service calls in my calendar WITH an address. I finally get travel reminders, however, I ask Siri, "give me directions to my next appointment" and all it does is tell time the title of the appointment.
Asking Siri to "read the last message from [my wife]" finally usually works correctly in iOS 10. It used to read me messages from other people from hours ago.
Point is- I try to use Siri and any other "intelligence" iOS has to offer, but it falls flat 15-25% of the time. Imagine if a certain feature of your car failed 15-25% of the time, like the brakes. Apples & Oranges, maybe, so let's say the power windows had to think about it, think about it, think about it... sorry, Power Windows (::Siri) is unavailable at the moment, please try again later. Sent from the iMore App
http://exponent.fm/episode-083-microsoft-linkedin-versus-apple-wwdc/ There are a lot of podcasts that will help you why your wrong.
Phones definitely be effected world-wide.
Would PC's be effected? Nope.
Would tablets, yes.
Servers? Nope. AI needs tons of data. Both MS & Google have tons of it &, has been mentioned, they have invested a lot thru the years. They are currently applying it & people are using it. AI needs powerful hardware on the server side as well. MS has servers that can handle this type of service. MS even has Azure. MS has also been creating Apps for other platforms, like Andriod or iOS. I know Cortana doesn't work that great on iOS, but it's because they don't access to the core of the OS like they do on Windows. People are going to want AI on their PC, tablet, phone, & many other devices. As has been mentioned about big companies missing revolutions or completely fumbling, MS has definitely done that many times. Their phone practically doesn't exist in comparison to Apple or Google...That's called completely missing the boat & not taking it seriously. I'm a long time Windows user (Even their phone), I now use (Which I previously did use) the iPhone & iPad. I love iOS. I have been trying to use my Windows 10 on a Surface Pro 3 less & less compared to my iPad Pro.
I can not state to others that MS is a small company, it has more influence in the broad sense than either Google or Apple. It will take time for that to change & honestly, it has been in the process of losing that grip already. But they are getting more innovative & it's working. A truly powerful AI would allow you to use it on multiple platforms & multiple devices...Phones, PC's, stand alone iOT devices, appliances, & anything else. Amazon has a big footprint also. Google is doing quite well, but I was just comparing Apple and MS for now. I'm a firm believer that Apple can develop a bigger, broader reach into the AI world. I personally do believe they have "more up their sleeve" than what we think concerning AI. Apple may be looking at approaching AI from a different angle, which is common for Apple to do & be successful at it. I know they are working with IBM some & they have powerful hardware & software. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if Steve Jobs was still running Apple & what it would be like now. I'm not against Tim Cook, but Jobs made Apple fantastic. I personally can live without more advanced AI. I know the direction of society is completely moving towards such advanced technology that they will practically be completely dependent on it. That's a scary thought. People won't know how to do even basic tasks anymore.
http://www.businessofapps.com/top-10-popular-ios-apps-time/ The Full List in order.
Find My iPhone
iTunes U I seem to see 2 google apps in the top 10. Youtube and Google maps at number 8. Google Maps is still a highly used app on iOS.
Just a thought about search:
Now, if you search for a product to purchase, the data amassed by it can be the terms you used, what links you clicked on, where on the page the link was located, the final site you purchased from, method of payment, how long you were on that site, what other sites did you visit that day. What style of the webpages they were that you visited, including the colors, objects, fonts, etc were in that page. All that data can be "priceless" Some data MS or Google may not get purely by searches, but with a deep desire to obtain data and deep pockets, they can buy some of that data from schools, businesses, governments, even basic surveys. Or just by working with partner companies. How you use your OS and the apps may be recorded as anonymous and that's fine. If you choose to right click on a file and select 'rename' or you'd rather simply click on the rename button is all part of this massive data collected. MS does use even that data for design changes for Windows...Lots of data is available. One of most important data needed for AI for devices/software interacting with human is learning human behavior. Scientists even go to Facebook to study human behavior. There is plenty of data available. Whether you collect it yourself or buy it, it's out there. Even Google has gotten into trouble for scanning university students emails for 'commercial purposes' is honestly irrelevant in today's world. When you have the most widely used mobile OS (Google) or you have the OS on around 90% of the worlds PC's (MS) you have access to an immeasurable wealth of data. When you have "digital assistants" that are already learning human behavior, you are collecting data. Anonymous data is still data. Knowing a definition of a word is data, but knowing context of its usage is data that is freely (or at a cost) available. Yes, look at some of those user agreements for the free services you're getting from MS and Google and I know I'm giving some of my data away...That's how I pay for that free service. Now, granted, not all the services collect
that data. Don't limit data collection to purely one company's search engine. If you want MS to custom design software for your hospital, you may need to give them basic data sets so they know how to make it. That's just basic data that they now have. What matters is if you are designing software to deal with and utilize that data, even if you have gotten live data yet...because it will come. Do they have tons of data? Yes. Does Apple have that much data in their caverns? I surely don't know, but I'm betting they could buy a lot. Hardware, software, and raw data must marry up to make it all work. Sent from the iMore App