Following in the footsteps of Google, which has been designing “Tensor Processing Units” specializing in machine learning and AI, Apple’s working on similar AI-focused chips, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg:
Apple is working on a processor devoted specifically to AI-related tasks, according to a person familiar with the matter. The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence — such as facial recognition and speech recognition, said the person, who requested anonymity discussing a product that hasn’t been made public. Apple declined to comment.
There’s no doubt that Apple is investing in AI tech—and needs to, due to the massive arms race in this area among tech giants. Because of the company’s commitment to privacy and refusal to decrypt user data on its servers, processing data on devices themselves is Apple’s only real recourse.