Smartphones could soon be fitted with artificial intelligence thanks to new ‘neural engine’ chip

AI PHONE Apple iPhones could soon be fitted with artificial intelligence thanks to new ‘neural engine’ chip

Latest tech gossip indicates Apple's new smartphone will be very clever indeed
By David Glance,

30th May 2017, 10:38 am  Updated: 30th May 2017, 2:09 pm

APPLE is reportedly planning to install an artificial intelligence chip in upcoming iPhones.

The tech giant is said to be working on a chip called the Apple Neural Engine which would be dedicated to carrying out artificial intelligence (AI) processing, reports.

Although artificial intelligence is being used already to power digital assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, these technologies rely on computer servers to process data sent to them rather than the processing happening on the mobile device itself.

The technology will bring new types of capabilities to mobile devices and should reduce or even eliminate the need for an internet connection.

The uses are potentially limitless and will bring about a new phase in how we rely on applications and our mobile devices in everyday life.

For example, health applications could use AI to tell when body readings from sensors on the phone or wearable devices are abnormal and need addressing.

Apple is one of many companies working to develop AI tech.

Google’s AI hardware, called the Tensor Processing Unit, is 15 to 30 times faster than the fastest computer processors (CPUs) and graphic processors (GPUs) that power computers today.

These TPUs were what gave Google’s DeepMind its ability to beat the world champions of the Chinese game of Go.

They have also vastly improved Google’s automated language translation software, Google Translate.

The inclusion of AI in mobile software is going to massively increase the potential usefulness of software.

Our state of health, for example, is really about how we are doing relative to how we normally feel.

Changes in behaviour can signal changes in mental health, including conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s, as well as revealing precursors of illnesses such as diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Our phones could monitor patterns of activity and even how we walk to assess our health.

This ability would involve the software learning our normal patterns and flagging up any changes it detects.

Eventually, smartphones could also become part of a self-directed ecosystem of intelligent and autonomous machines including cars.

It is likely that people will eventually share the use of these cars when needed rather than own one themselves, meaning AI will again be essential for managing how this sharing functions to manage the most efficient distribution of cars.

To do this, the scheduling AI service would need to liaise with software on everyone’s phones to determine where and when they will be at a given location and where they need to get to.

AI on a mobile device will also be used to protect the device by checking if applications and communications are secure or likely to be a threat.

This technology is already being implemented in smart home appliances but as software. The addition of special AI chips will allow them to be much faster and to do more.

However, it's feared that artificial intelligence could erode humans' smartness.

As we come to rely on devices to do things, we may lose the ability to maintain certain skills and become too dependent on machines.

The iPhone 8 is expected to come out later this year and feature all manner of exciting innovations including a cool new "infinity screen".

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