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Apple is hiring more talent to make generative AI run natively on the iPhone

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Apple is hiring more talent to make generative AI run natively on the iPhone

Since the beginning of this year, the upsurge of generative artificial intelligence has swept the entire technology industry. Recruitment information shows that Apple is expanding its professional talent team in generative artificial intelligence, and plans to apply the results to products such as iPhone and iPad, and continuously improve the effect of generative artificial intelligence running locally on mobile devices.

It is reported that Apple is recruiting dozens of positions for offices around the world such as California, Seattle, and Paris. The main work content is to engage in research on large language models and generate text, images, or codes based on simple prompts from users.

All of Apple’s job postings above were posted between April and July of this year, indicating that Apple is undertaking “an ambitious, long-term research project that is expected to impact the future of Apple and related products.”

Apple’s machine intelligence, neural design and other teams are recruiting researchers and engineers. The work content includes basic research on large language models in the Paris laboratory, as well as compressing existing language models so that they can be used on mobile devices. Rather than running efficiently in the cloud.

While rivals such as Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google have already released generative AI products such as chatbots and productivity assistants, Apple’s job postings suggest that the company is stepping up efforts to apply high-end technologies such as large language models specifically to mobile applications. equipment.

It remains a daunting technological challenge for Apple’s rivals, but is critical to Apple’s core business of selling devices and related services.

During an earnings call on Thursday, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called artificial intelligence and machine learning “core foundational technologies that are integral to virtually every product we make.” Apple’s R&D spending in the second quarter was $3.1 billion higher than the same period last year, which Cook attributed in part to the company’s investment in generative artificial intelligence, saying Apple will also “invest a lot of money” in the coming months.

Apple devices also have artificial intelligence technologies such as automatically correcting photos or automatically generating animations. But so far, companies have been cautious about talking about using machine learning to enhance the capabilities of existing devices.

According to Lukasz Olejnik, an independent researcher and cybersecurity consultant who often works with big tech companies, “their short-term goal is to integrate generative AI with existing products and achieve immediate results and uses. .”

The advantage of running AI software locally on the phone is that it doesn’t require an internet connection or send data to the cloud, allowing apps to run faster and handle user data more securely. Running AI on mobile devices would “have better privacy-preserving properties,” Olenik said.

For example, Apple has a job posting saying that the company is looking for a senior software engineer to “implement the function of compressing and accelerating large language models in the inference engine on Apple devices”, referring to running artificial intelligence locally on mobile devices rather than on the network. Intelligent Technology.

Another job posting from Apple on July 28 states that the company hopes to “bring the most advanced basic model to the mobile phone in your pocket, and realize a new generation of functional experience based on machine learning in a privacy-preserving way.”

Privacy has become an important part of Apple’s marketing strategy as the company has sought to differentiate itself from rivals such as Google and Facebook. Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, already offers voice recognition based on device localization, which Apple says is a way to address privacy concerns raised by “unnecessary recordings.”

Other jobs at Apple focused on enhancing the multimedia processing capabilities of artificial intelligence software. One of the job postings claims to automatically generate “image or video content…” for “motion recognition and multiple rounds of interaction.”

A French artificial intelligence entrepreneur who recently left a major technology company said that Apple is absorbing more artificial intelligence talent locally in Paris than other large technology companies. Apple currently has a small lab in Paris, has recently hired researchers from Facebook’s parent company Meta, and has plans to further expand the team, people familiar with the matter said.

In 2020, Apple paid nearly $200 million to acquire Seattle-based artificial intelligence startup Xnor, beating out bids from other big players including Microsoft, Amazon and Intel, according to two people familiar with the matter. It is reported that Xnor’s main business is to study how to run complex machine learning models on mobile devices.

It was reported last month that Apple began testing an artificial intelligence tool similar to ChatGPT late last year.

Apple declined to comment on its hiring plans.