Apple released iPhone X last week, which critics billed it as the future of smart phone. Indeed, it is a beautiful device, a 5.8 inches OLED screen with 1125 x 2436 resolution (,which Apple called it "super retina display). It will cost a hefty $999, but it does give you a feeling that Apple is innovative again.
Of course, at the Weekly, what we mostly care is AI and deep learning. So what's new there? Perhaps the two features which are noteworthy are FaceID and A11 Bionic chips. Let's take a closer look?
FaceID : This is the new function which allows users to authenticate with their faces. Of course, there is an obvious issue about using face to authenticate - e.g. What if you face changes? According to Apple, FaceID is supposed to adapt to your face over time.
Does it work? Oh well, it doesn't seem to work well at demo time on Federighi's face. Apple's explanation is that because the phone was passed around so many times to different people off-stage, since FaceID tries to authenticate many people's faces without success, it ends-up require Federighi's passcode authentication. It does sound like a reasonable explanation.
A11 Bionic Chip : which also consists of new Neural Engine. We think the best piece is from Mashable which summarizes this "chip in the chip" well. The first thing to notice is that A11 Bionic was developed around 3 years ago. That was also the time we generally believe that Apple AI development was quiet. So such bet shows that Apple was serious about AI earlier than we thought.
Perhaps, as many critics said (as the Verge piece we quote), A11 Bionic suggests Apple is taking a very different approach to take on AI - rather than doing cloud-based processing just like Google and Amazon do, Apple's approach is edge-based. Such approach require control of the hardware stack and it's cost intensive. But you end-up have complete controls of your product and you don't need to rely external technologies (such as Nvidia GPU).
Corrections at 20170916 at 12:35 p.m.: The article previously states that "FaceID adapted to many different staffs' faces, but fail to respond to Federighi's. ", but the problem is not due to adaptation, but that Face ID actually trying to authenticate the other persons' faces, and after many failures, it requires passcode authentication. Thanks Jin Hon Tan to point it out.