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Apple Launches Machine Learning Journal as it Embraces AI Openness

Apple has inaugurated an online journal where its engineers can publish their research on machine learning.

“Here, you can read posts written by Apple engineers about their work using machine learning technologies to help build innovative products for millions of people around the world,” the new website’s homepage reads.

The first featured study  had already been partially published on the arXiv some months ago, but it has now been updated with more details and images. It deals with computer vision training through a technique called adversarial learning.


An image from Apple’s first machine learning study 

The  website will provide a novel glimpse of the AI efforts of the Cupertino-based company, which now seems clearly poised to shed its secretiveness regarding its achievements in the field.

In fact, although it is the creator of the most famous AI-powered assistant —Siri— Apple had for a long time refrained from making its research on artificial intelligence  public.

Over time, this had led to the iPhone maker losing ground to rivals such as Alphabet, Facebook and Amazon, as top AI researchers were turned off by Apple’s position of forbidding them to share findings with the wider academic community.

In January 2017, though, Apple took its first step to embrace more openness by joining tech giants’ consortium Partnership on AI, whose members are required to ““publish [AI] research under an open license.”

Will this shift help Apple claw back its past AI prominence?

For sure company CEO Tim Cook hopes so: a string of newly-launched projects — such as Apple’s smart loudspeaker HomePod, and its self-driving car initiative Project Titan— depend on the company getting AI right.

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