Apple is working on a dedicated artificial intelligence chip which may be called the Apple Neural Engine that would be used to offload tasks that require sophisticated algorithms related to facial and speech recognition and augmented reality tasks that rely heavily on computer vision.

This chip could improve the device’s overall battery life, and potentially improve overall performance of Apple devices.

It’s unclear if the chip would make its way into devices this year, but Apple has already started testing future iPhone prototypes with the chip. The ultimate goal would be to separate the most computationally intensive tasks from the iPhone’s processor and graphics chip and the chip that helps its AirPods more easily sync wirelessly with the iPhone.

Though we haven’t seen Apple make any public AI announcements outside its occasional Siri update, the company has been on a hiring spree to scoop up top industry talent. Other news of its other commitments to the field have also started trickling out. In January, Apple joined the Partnership on AI, a research group made up of other Silicon Valley giants concerned with examining the ethical ripple effects of automation, robotics, and digital intelligence.

Apple also started allowing its AI researchers to publish papers last year, as a way to retain the field’s best academics. In February, Apple announced that it would be expanding its Seattle office, where much of its AI and machine learning work is done.

Source: The Verge