Apple Making Big Hiring Push in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

ios_9_proactiveApple is stepping up its efforts to recruit employees focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning, reports Reuters. The report suggests Apple is looking to challenge Google's lead in features such as Google Now that learn to anticipate smartphone users' needs, something Apple is starting to address in iOS 9 with its new "Proactive" feature.

As part of its push, the company is currently trying to hire at least 86 more employees with expertise in the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, according to a recent analysis of Apple job postings. The company has also stepped up its courtship of machine-learning PhD's, joining Google, Amazon, Facebook and others in a fierce contest, leading academics say.

Apple's machine learning efforts are in large part built with Siri in mind, and Siri should play an important role in this Wednesday's media event, as indicated by the event invitation's tagline.

Many of the currently posted positions are slated for software efforts, from building on Siri’s smarts to the burgeoning search features in iOS. The company is also hiring machine learning experts for divisions such as product marketing and retail, suggesting a broad-based effort to capitalize on data.

Reuters notes that Apple faces a challenge with machine learning due to its focus on privacy and reluctance to tap into all possible data sources. For example, with the Proactive features of iOS 9, Apple is primarily keeping all of the data and analysis on the user's phone, enhancing privacy but limiting some of what can be learned from data passed to the cloud.

Apple's strict policies not only limit what can be learned from user data but also discourage some machine learning experts from pursuing positions with Apple due to that lack of access. Still, Apple is said to be opening up about machine learning, engaging with academic programs in its efforts to lure talent and already having tripled or quadrupled the size of its machine learning team over the last few years.

Top Rated Comments

Corrode Avatar
72 months ago
I really appreciate Apple's emphasis on privacy, especially in this post-Snowden era. It's what keeps me away from great but creepy services like Google Photos.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
72 months ago
Hopefully we'll see something come of this. The amount of things Siri knows it can't do is… odd, actually.



Attachment Image
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
72 months ago
That's why Siri is poop..How is she supposed to be intelligent when she doesn't have enough data to access?
Confirmation bias aside (Siri serves people well in many ways, but it's easy to think what headlines tell us) it's not that the personal data you want Apple to use is not there at all – it's that the data is stored and used on the phone ITSELF rather than retained on the remote server.

That's a programming challenge (one I'm sure ATTRACTS some talent)--not simply having "not enough data" about you.

And this challenge - like so many "dire Apple problems" - comes with unique benefits as well. There are good reasons to accept that challenge and not go full Google. This approach is a GOOD option to have in the market.

And of course Siri DOES use cloud data about you too. It's a question of how much, and what ELSE that data is used for (like Google showing you and bystanders ads for things you've been emailing about) and how it is encrypted/stored, and for how long, and whether it's building complex profiles (anonymous in theory but easy to connect to you) to sell in aggregate to third parties, or is completely anonymous. And how protected you are from malware/spyware during all this info collection!

Apple can and will adjust that balance--I predict their machine learning will shift more to the cloud and a little less on the local device in future. But that they will still guard your privacy in ways Google never could or would.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darcyf Avatar
72 months ago
Conveniences should be derived in concert with our freedoms and liberties. Not in opposition to them.

It would be easier for Apple to take the low road on this but they're holding to the principles.

They're doing it the hard way but also the right way.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
72 months ago
I understand the dream here, but nothing I've seen Siri, Cortana, Google etc do convinces me that we're anywhere near it at all. I guess it's good that Apple are hiring experts, but I think it's going to be a long, long time before the dream of a truly "intelligent assistant" is realised.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
72 months ago
Apple is late to the innovation game again. [Sigh]
One company cannot lead in all areas at the same time, yet Apple is the only one expected to. Huh.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...