Apple, autonomous systems, and you

“‘Autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways, and a vehicle is only one. But there are many different areas of it, and I don’t want to go any further with that,’ said Apple CEO, Tim Cook,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “He may not want to, but we can: So, how can autonomous systems be used and what can they do to your business?”

“A self-driving car, for example, would need to know where it was going, how to get there, how to obey the rules of the road on its journey, and how avoid collisions with other vehicles, buildings, animals, or pedestrians on the way,” Evans writes. “These autonomous machines must be able to achieve all of this in real time, on real roads, no matter what random events may take place on those roads. They need to be almost 100 percent reliable. Achieving this is complex.”

“The thing is, once you develop machines that can handle situations as complex as those you experience on the road then you have developed machine skills that could conceivably be deployed elsewhere,” Evans reports. “Apple evidently agrees. Tim Cook says: ‘From our point of view, autonomy is sort of the mother of all AI projects.'”

Discussion of potential uses of autonomous systems in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple, due to secrecy, is farther along in AI than most observers realize.

We’ve been seeing over the last five years a growth of this inside Apple. Our devices are getting so much smarter at a quicker rate, especially with our Apple design A series chips. The back ends are getting so much smarter, faster, and everything we do finds some reason to be connected. This enables more and more machine learning techniques, because there is so much stuff to learn, and it’s available to [us]… We use these techniques to do the things we have always wanted to do, better than we’ve been able to do. And on new things we haven’t be able to do. It’s a technique that will ultimately be a very Apple way of doing things as it evolves inside Apple and in the ways we make products… Machine learning is enabling us to say yes to some things that in past years we would have said no to. It’s becoming embedded in the process of deciding the products we’re going to do next.Phil Schiller, August 2016

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1 Comment

  1. When Tim Cook talks about autonomous systems, we generally assume he means cars, but there are many things which could be autonomous. Your home could benefit from a great deal of autonomy, adjusting things like heat, light, access and security according to what it knows about your behaviour and your plans. HomeKIt is obviously starting that process, but I think there’s a huge amount of potential for further innovations, especially when more manufacturers produce compatible hardware and crucially, at lower price points.

    We have already seen a certain degree of autonomy in our iPhones. For years, an email with a mention of a date or time can automatically add an event to your calendar and your photo library can be asked to show you pictures of certain subjects, such as boats or Christmas. It does that image analysis within the iPhone itself. I think that we will be seeing a lot more of that sort of thing, with our iPhones intelligently acting on our behalf without needing to be told what to do. All the user will need to do will be to define the limits of it’s scope.

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