Don’t be surprised by Apple’s on-device AI for the iPhone, but the method might be unexpected – The Register

Tobias Mann

Apple’s use of generative AI on its iDevices may not be a major feature of iOS in the near future, despite its existing use of machine learning for subtle improvements to the user experience. The company’s rivals are touting generative AI as an essential capability for every device and application, while Apple quietly purchases AI companies and develops large language models.

Neural processing units (NPUs) in Apple’s silicon handle its existing AI implementations, providing a significant advantage that outperforms NPUs that other companies offer. The use of NPUs allows the device’s CPU and GPU to remain free for other tasks, making Apple’s hardware advantage apparent. The A17 Pro found in the iPhone 15 Pro is especially powerful, capable of doubling the performance of its predecessor.

While Apple has not openly embraced generative AI, its behind-the-scenes use of machine learning for tasks such as image handling and tagging showcases its commitment to this technology. Despite not overtly promoting AI like its competitors, Apple’s efforts in AI development and its hardware advantage indicate the potential for incorporating generative AI in the future.

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