Leaked slides hint at Apple’s AI development plans

Apple seems to be working hard on its artificial intelligence goals behind the curtains. A set of slides from the company’s AI conference in Barcelona has leaked online, suggesting some key research focus areas of Apple.
As reported by The Quartz website, the conference is said to be presented by Russ Salakhutdinov, director of AI research at Apple.
The Cupertino-based tech firm is said to be working on smaller neural networks that will operate independently instead of relying on several other server connections. The neural networks are said to be 4.5 times smaller than the regular ones and have twice the speed. For end users, this could help future iPhone and iPad models to recognize a person’s face, location and more in an image more easily than is possible now.
We may also see a glimpse of the company’s AI progress it in the upcoming iPad models or the next year’s iPhones.
Besides this, the slides talk about ‘LiDAR’ or Light Detection and Ranging, which is one of the main technologies used to build an autonomous cars. However, there is no mention of automobiles during the presentation.
For those unaware, Apple has been rumoured since last year as working on developing a self-driving vehicle. But as per latest reports, the company may be working on the autonomous driving software instead of the complete vehicle.
Furthermore, Apple is said to have talked about its graphics processing units. The company boasted that its image recognition algorithm could process double the number of photos every second as compared to Google’s.
Apple has acquired several AI startups this year. Back in January, it acquired Emotient Inc, an Artificial Intelligence startup that can read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions. Then in August, it acquired another AI startup called Turi. It also bought an Indian AI startup called Tuple jump that helps clients store, process and visualize data.