HomeTech NewsApple Moving Towards AI: Acquires French-Based AI Startup 

Apple Moving Towards AI: Acquires French-Based AI Startup 

Apple has recently acquired Datkalab, a Paris-based startup. This acquisition is expected to help the Cupertino-based tech giant integrate on-device AI functionalities into its forthcoming iPhone 16 models, which are set for a September launch.

After Samsung introduced AI capabilities in its latest models, Galaxy 24 and Galaxy 24+, Apple is all set to enter the era of AI with its upcoming iPhone 16 models. However, before that, Apple might showcase AI features with the new iOS 18 update. Apple is planning to introduce its next-generation iPhone operating system at this year’s developer conference, WWDC 2024, scheduled to occur on June 10th. 

Datakalab is a small firm with less than 25 employees based in Paris. It was founded in 2006 by Xavier and Lucas Fisher to work on deep learning algorithms. Apple finalised its acquisition in December 2023 but made this news official in a filing with the European Commission this month. According to Bloomberg reports, Apple distinguishes itself from other major AI services by offering advanced tools that can leverage on-device data processing, offering capabilities that are not possible through cloud-based systems.

How Will Datakalab Bring AI Features To The iPhone? 

Datakalab specialises in compressing large language models into small AI-embedded systems to operate locally. The firm has worked on various high-profile cases, including collaborations with disney and the French Government. Initially, the firm worked on a technology that can analyse human emotions using facial recognition and visual data. Expanding with innovation, Datakalab’s expertise lies in compressing neural networks and making them compatible with various devices, such as smartphones, smart wearable devices, tablets, etc. This acquisition is likely to add a key factor in Apple’s interest in stepping into the field of Artificial Intelligence. 

Before Apple, Datakalab’s expertise in developing high-efficiency deep learning algorithms tailored for low-power local processing had already gained significant customer interest. For instance, in collaboration with the French government, the project aimed to implement a system for monitoring cinema attendees to ensure compliance with mask-wearing guidelines. Datakalab has strongly focused on the privacy of its on-device AI models, which is why it caught Apple’s interest.

Apple’s shift towards on-device AI features in iOS 18 means that many functions will be available offline, enhancing privacy by reducing the need for server-side data processing. Additionally, on-device AI operations will deliver faster performance irrespective of internet speeds. Moreover, this approach will redefine Apple’s commitment to user privacy, data security, and reliable performance. 

However, on-device AI has a few limitations. Advanced AI functionalities like text generation and other content creation tasks mostly depend on cloud processing. Therefore, iOS 18’s most demanding AI capabilities might be restricted to the latest iPhone hardware, which may result in more powerful neural engines and GPUs. Users with older iPhone models may not have access to these features.

Interestingly, Apple is reportedly looking for collaborations with external providers such as OpenAI, Google, and Baidu to leverage their AI infrastructure and cloud-based machine-learning models for the backend of cloud-processed iOS 18 AI features. This will help summarize webpage content and offer other helpful functionalities.

Apple AI: The Future of iPhones 

Apple’s acquisition of Datakalab reveals a new era for iPhones, where the boundaries between device and intelligence are swiftly blurring. With Datakalab’s expertise in on-device AI processing, iPhones are set to offer faster performance and enhanced privacy with the upcoming iOS iPhone 16 models. Looking at Apple’s reputation, this acquisition will revitalize the landscape of the mobile industry as it aims to bring AI processing to the forefront of user experience, setting new standards for performance, privacy, and innovation.

Shahid Mushtaq
Shahid Mushtaqhttps://smartphonecrunch.com/
Shahid is a passionate sports and tech enthusiast with a keen interest in cricket, football, and emerging technologies including smartphones and laptops. He closely follows sporting events and stays updated with the latest news in both sports and technology domains, enhancing his understanding of the evolving sports-tech landscape.

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