Apple Allows Its AI Researchers to Publish Findings

  • 2016.12.07
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“Apple allows its AI researchers to publish findings and engage with acdemic activities”

Apple is reported to have made some changes on its extreme secrecy attitude toward research and development. Its artificial intelligence researchers are said to be able to publish their machine-learning findings and attend academic activities. The news was announced by Russ Salakhutd, the company’s director of AI research, at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference.

Comparing with other tech giants like Google, Microsoft, or Facebook, which are positive to show off their latest findings, Apple maintained a low profile in the AI field and typically kept all its research works in-house, mostly for the sake of protecting the company’s intellectual property. It is the first time that Apple allows its team to publish scientific papers and engage with academia, so that they can share their achievements and be publicly recognized. This move is hoped to attract AI talents to Apple and to accelerate the iPhone maker’s advance in deep learning.

Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Russ Salakhutd was hired in October by Apple as its first directory of AI research to bolster its machine learning capabilities. As the announcement came out, some of his peers expressed their concerns whether Apple would be more open and collaborative about its research results. Many AI academics believed that Apple’s secrecy stance have hindered the recruit of top minds in Artificial Intelligence, as less researchers are willing to work in an closed environment where everything is secret. Also, the company’s user privacy policy hampers AI employees from acquiring data that machine learning requires.

Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM launched the project “Partnership on AI” in September to push forward the development of this area. These companies have been pouring resources in the AI research for years and continue bringing in top minds in this field. To catch up its rivals and move forward its research and development, Apple has acquired three machine learning companies in recent months.

No more details are revealed now, and Apple does not further elaborate its plans.

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