What it is: Apple is rumored to be working on a special processor for artificial intelligence.
At one time, Apple used off-the-sehfl components to make their products. After Apple starting to rely on ARM processors for mobile computers like the iPhone and iPad, rivals started to use the exact same ARM processors. That’s when Apple made their own ARM processors known as the A series of processors. Not only are these A series processors faster than ordinary ARM processors, but they’re also more efficient as well, optimized to run iOS.
That means rivals, still relying on off-the-sehlf components, can never catch up. This is why an older iPhone 6S can still meet or exceed the performance of the latest Android smartphones and tablets. When you compare optimized technology to non-optimized technology, the optimized technology wins every time.
Now Apple is setting their sights on a dedicated artificial intelligence processor. Initially the main processor did all the processing for a computer. Then computers started to rely on graphics processors to handle graphics. Surprisingly, graphics processors also proved adept at handling artificial intelligence algorithms because they could work in parallel, similar to displaying graphics on a screen. That’s why graphics processors have evolved into AI chips as well.
Of course, using a graphics processor for AI is like using a general processor for graphics. It may work, but it’s not optimized for the task. That’s why Apple is rumored to be working on a dedicated AI chip. The main purpose is to let the general processor do the bulk of the work, let the graphics processor handle the display, and let the AI chip handle AI tasks like dealing with natural language processing for Siri.
With a dedicated AI processor and a dedicated graphics processor, computers of all types can be faster and more efficient at different tasks. Just as today’s computers would never omit a graphics processor, tomorrow’s computers will likely never omit a dedicated AI processor either.
Google is already focused on developing a dedicated AI chip too, so expect to see dedicated AI chips popping up in computers of all types in the near future. This means our devices will just continue too get smarter while the average intelligence of the users remains the same.
Will computers get smarter than most people? Looking at the way some people behave, the answer is that some computers have already exceeded the intelligence level of certain people. However a dedicated AI chip will simply accelerate this trend so computers will gradually become smarter and more versatile.
This rumor of a dedicated AI chip form Apple likely is true because if it wasn’t, Apple would simply fall behind Google and other rivals. Apple is moving forward with their own AI chip for the same reason they moved forward with their own ARM processor and their own graphics processor. They want to optimize everything and keep their technology out of the hands of others. This will give Apple products a unique feature that no other rival can match.
Expect more companies to develop dedicated AI chips like Google, Nvidia, and Intel. The problem is that these other dedicated AI chips must be general enough for all types of devices while Apple can optimize their AI chip for specific features in iOS and macOS. A dedicated AI chip is simply going to give Apple more control and more advanced features than rivals will ever hope to offer.
The future for Apple is to build their own parts as much as possible. That will leave their rivals stuck all buying the exact same components so their products will be no different than the other Android products on the market. A dedicated AI chip is inevitable. Expect your smartphone or tablet to one day be nearly as intelligent as you are.