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

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.

appleairesearchslide
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.


Top Rated Comments

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6 weeks ago

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.

This is probably one of the more significant things I got from this post. Good on Apple and about time.
Rating: 9 Votes
6 weeks ago
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...
Rating: 6 Votes
6 weeks ago
How about getting a few of those people to develop a new COMPUTER?????????
Rating: 4 Votes
6 weeks ago
First output from the AI neural network: Apple's laptops are too thin and need larger batteries. :)
Rating: 4 Votes
6 weeks ago

But... But... But... Everyone told me Apple lost the AI race and they've given up

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.
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago
The courage to evolve in the EMOJI field.
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago
I used a search tool, but i can't find the words "SkyNet" or "Terminator" in their presentation.
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago
But... But... But... All of the Apple haters told me Apple lost the AI race and they've given up
Rating: 3 Votes
6 weeks ago
Cool. Now can you get Siri to do anything right for once?
Rating: 2 Votes
6 weeks ago
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.
Rating: 2 Votes

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