“Apple Inc. got an early start in artificial intelligence software with the 2011 introduction of Siri, a tool that lets users operate their smartphones with voice commands,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “Now the electronics giant is bringing artificial intelligence to chips.”

“The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence — such as facial recognition and speech recognition, said the person, who requested anonymity discussing a product that hasn’t been made public,” Gurman reports. “An AI-enabled processor would help Cupertino, California-based Apple integrate more advanced capabilities into devices, particularly cars that drive themselves and gadgets that run augmented reality.”

“Apple devices currently handle complex artificial intelligence processes with two different chips: the main processor and the graphics chip. The new chip would let Apple offload those tasks onto a dedicated module designed specifically for demanding artificial intelligence processing, allowing Apple to improve battery performance,” Gurman reports. “The Apple AI chip is designed to make significant improvements to Apple’s hardware over time, and the company plans to eventually integrate the chip into many of its devices… Apple has tested prototypes of future iPhones with the chip, the person said, adding that it’s unclear if the component will be ready this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With Google’s work on its own tensor processing unit (TPU) chip already known, it’s to be expected that Apple would be working their own chip dedicated to machine learning. It’s also logical given Apple’s desire to own the core technologies in their products:

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004

• In order to build the best products, you have to own the primary technologies. Steve felt that if Apple could do that — make great products and great tools for people — they in turn would do great things. He felt strongly that this would be his contribution to the world at large. We still very much believe that. That’s still the core of this company.Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 18, 2015

Apple should already have made Voice Control active when there is no network connection without disabling Siri and built out Voice Control to handle more tasks than it current can.

If you live in an area with poor cell coverage, you know all to well valuable an offline-capable Siri would be.

Even though Voice Control was later replaced by Siri, it’s still available in iOS. With iOS 10.2 or later, you can prevent Voice Control or Siri from responding when you press and hold the Home button on your device. Follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home Button.
2. Under Press and Hold to Speak, select one of these options:
– Siri: Siri will respond when you press the Home button.
– Voice Control: Classic Voice Control will respond when you press and hold the Home button. This will also turn off Siri.
– Off: There will be no response when you press and hold the Home button. This will also turn off Voice Control and Siri.

Note: Voice Control only works when Siri is disabled.

Play or pause music: Say “play music.” To pause, say “pause,” “pause music,” or “stop.” You can also say “next song” or “previous song.”

Play an album, artist, or playlist: Say “play album,” “play artist,” or “play playlist” followed by the name of the artist, album, or playlist you wish to play.

Find out more about the current song: Say “what’s playing,” “who sings this song,” or “who is this song by.”

Making voice calls: Press and hold the Home button, say “call” or “dial,” then say the name or number. You can add “at home,” “work,” or “mobile.” For example:
– “Call Steve’s mobile”
– “Call the fire department”
– “Redial that last number”

Apple aims for more control, less cost as it accelerates in chip design – April 5, 2017
‘Hey Siri, why don’t you have an offline mode?’ – January 18, 2017
Apple’s AirPods show just how badly Siri needs an offline mode – December 23, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]