Apple is looking to expand its horizons, and it seems as though those horizons could soon include more artificial intelligence. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is working on a chip designed specifically for artificial intelligence.
The chip is reportedly known internally as Apple Neural Engine, and will essentially improve how devices like the iPhone handle tasks that might otherwise need human intelligence to work properly. In other words, your iPhone could soon learn a whole lot quicker than it already does.
Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important, but the likes of Amazon and Google seem to have gotten a head start on Apple. This new chip, however, could push Apple’s products onto the cutting edge of artificial intelligence technology — and could also power other new technologies, such as augmented reality and self-driving cars.
There’s no word yet on when the chip could be officially unveiled — but when it doe,s it will go up against other, similar products that companies have already unveiled. Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chips, for example, do have a dedicated module specifically for artificial intelligence, while Google has the Tensor Processing Unit, which works in Google’s own data centers to power some of its new services with built-in artificial intelligence.
It’s possible aspects of Apple’s new AI chip could be discussed at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which is coming in early June. If not, the company may still talk about AI in general, especially considering how important the concept has become for large tech companies over the past few years. Apple will unveil iOS 11, its latest and greatest mobile operating system, at the show, along with a new version of macOS, its computer operating system.
We’ll have to wait and see if Apple does eventually unveil an AI-specific chip — but one thing is for sure: AI will continue to be a major focus for Apple and other tech companies for the foreseeable future.