Apple Inc. (AAPL) Boosts Hiring of AI Experts to Make Smarter iPhones

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Apple (NYSE:AAPL) boosted its efforts to recruit experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) particularly in machine learning, according to report from Reuters based on a review of hiring sites and confirmation from several sources.

The report indicated that Apple is currently hiring additional 86 experts in machine learning based on a recent analysis of its job postings. The iPhone maker joins (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in a strong competition to hire AI experts with PhD’s.

Apple’s strong position on privacy

Joseph Gonzalez, co-founder of Dato, a machine learning startup commented that Apple wants to develop a phone that “responds to you very quickly without knowledge of the rest of the world. It’s harder to do that.”

Apple’s objective in increasing the number of its AI experts is to challenge Google’s dominance in machine learning as the search engine giant’s smartphone feature provides users information before even asking.

Machine learning helps devices predict users ‘next possible questions such as the scores of their favorite sports team or the traffic situation based on their experiences or habits.

Some experts suggested that the Apple’s ability to compete in the rapidly growing field will be likely undermined by its strong position on privacy. The iPhone maker is analyzing the behavior of its users under self-imposed constraints to ensure that their data are protected from outsiders.

Apple is playing catch up in mobile intelligence

Apple acquired Siri, its digital assistant in 2010 and introduced it to users the following year. However, Google and Microsoft’s digital assistants, Google Now, and Cortana are better than Siri in helping users with their daily activities.

Technology experts commented that Apple cannot afford to fall behind its peers in mobile intelligence and let the gap persist citing the reason that the company generates a significant portion of its revenue from the iPhone. They emphasized that a small advantage of Google’s Android operating system was a threat to Apple.

“In the past, Apple has not been at the vanguard of machine learning and cutting edge artificial intelligence work, but that is rapidly changing. They are after the best and the brightest, just like everybody else,” said Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and a professor at the University of Washington.

Apple is expected to provide clear details regarding its strategy on September 9, the launching of its latest iPhones, Apple TV and the iOS 9. The iPhone maker promised that its mobile operating system offers new intelligent features, which are expected to challenge the offering of Google’s Android.