Apple avoids “AI” hype at WWDC keynote by baking ML into products


Enlarge / Somebody scans their face utilizing Apple’s “most superior machine studying strategies” with the Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional throughout a WWDC 2023 keynote demo reel.


Amid notable new merchandise just like the Apple Silicon Mac Pro and the Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional revealed at Monday’s WWDC 2023 keynote event, Apple presenters by no means as soon as talked about the time period “AI,” a notable omission provided that its opponents like Microsoft and Google have been closely specializing in generative AI for the time being. Nonetheless, AI was part of Apple’s presentation, simply by different names.

Whereas “AI” is a really ambiguous time period as of late, surrounded by each astounding developments and excessive hype, Apple selected to keep away from that affiliation and as a substitute centered on phrases like “machine studying” and “ML.” For instance, in the course of the iOS 17 demo, SVP of Software program Engineering Craig Federighi talked about enhancements to autocorrect and dictation:

Autocorrect is powered by on-device machine studying, and over time, we have continued to advance these fashions. The keyboard now leverages a transformer language mannequin, which is state-of-the-art for phrase prediction, making autocorrect extra correct than ever. And with the facility of Apple Silicon, iPhone can run this mannequin each time you faucet a key.

Notably, Apple talked about the AI time period “transformer” in an Apple keynote. The corporate particularly talked a few “transformer language mannequin,” which implies its AI mannequin makes use of the transformer structure that has been powering many latest generative AI improvements, such because the DALL-E picture generator and the ChatGPT chatbot.

A transformer mannequin (an idea first introduced in 2017) is a sort of neural community structure utilized in pure language processing that employs a self-attention mechanism, permitting it to prioritize totally different phrases or components in a sequence. Its capability to course of inputs in parallel has led to vital effectivity enhancements and powered breakthroughs in pure language processing (NLP) duties akin to translation, summarization, and question-answering.

Apparently, Apple’s new transformer mannequin in iOS 17 permits sentence-level autocorrections that may end both a phrase or a complete sentence if you press the area bar. It learns out of your writing fashion as properly, which guides its strategies.

All this on-device AI processing is pretty simple for Apple due to a particular portion of Apple Silicon chips (and earlier Apple chips, beginning with the A11 in 2017) known as the Neural Engine, which is designed to speed up machine studying purposes. Apple additionally stated that dictation “will get a brand new transformer-based speech recognition mannequin that leverages the Neural Engine to make dictation much more correct.”

A screenshot of Craig Federighi talking about autocorrect in iOS 17, which now uses a
Enlarge / A screenshot of Craig Federighi speaking about autocorrect in iOS 17, which now makes use of a “transformer language mannequin.”


Through the keynote, Apple additionally talked about “machine studying” a number of different instances: whereas describing a brand new iPad lock display function (“When you choose a Dwell Photograph, we use a complicated machine studying mannequin to synthesize further frames”); iPadOS PDF options (“Due to new machine studying fashions, iPadOS can determine the fields in a PDF so you need to use AutoFill to shortly fill them out with data like names, addresses, and emails out of your contacts.”); an AirPods Adaptive Audio function (“With Customized Quantity, we use machine studying to grasp your listening preferences over time”); and an Apple Watch widget function known as Good Stack (“Good Stack makes use of machine studying to point out you related data proper if you want it”).

Apple additionally debuted a brand new app known as Journal that permits private textual content and picture journaling (type of like an interactive diary), locked and encrypted in your iPhone. Apple stated that AI performs a component, nevertheless it did not use the time period “AI.”

“Utilizing on-device machine studying, your iPhone can create personalised strategies of moments to encourage your writing,” Apple stated. “Strategies can be intelligently curated from data in your iPhone, like your pictures, location, music, exercises, and extra. And also you management what to incorporate if you allow Strategies and which of them to avoid wasting to your Journal.”

Lastly, in the course of the demo for the brand new Apple Vision Pro, the corporate revealed that the shifting picture of a consumer’s eyes on the entrance of the goggles comes from a particular 3D avatar created by scanning your face—and also you guessed it, machine studying.

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