A year ago, I wrote an article predicting that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would catch up in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The company was being roundly criticized for being behind competitors such as Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). I pointed out that Apple has come from behind before, notably in the field of mobile device processors, to take a leadership position.
I wouldn’t argue that in the past year the company has fully caught up, but it has made substantial progress. Apple hired Ruslan Salakhutdinov to head its AI research and was reported to be working on a hardware accelerator chip for machine learning.
In July, Apple started a blog about machine learning and published its first technical paper to appear in a refereed journal. That paper, “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training,” has been chosen for the “Best Paper” award by the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) at its July meeting. The paper was presented by its key author Ashish Shrivastava at the meeting, as shown above.
A version of the paper served as the first entry in the Apple blog and has been followed by several more. The company appears to be committed to being more open in its research. Its historical secretiveness has been criticized as an impediment to performing truly world-class research, especially in AI. Modern scientific research thrives in an open, collaborative environment.