Apple AI Team Gives Demo of Self-Driving Technology

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Apple AI researchers just gave a private demonstration of its self-driving technology. The demo happened at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference. This is the biggest AI-focused event of the year, and was held in Long Beach, California. Speakers included Ruslan Salakhutdinov, Apple’s director of AI, and Carlos Guestrin, Apple’s director of machine learning.

Mock image of self-driving car powered by Apple AI.

Apple AI Projects

The conference is meant to attract potential employees, and Apple took the opportunity to show off what it’s working on. Ruslan Salakhutdinov discussed a paper [PDF] released by Apple last month. It describes a system trained to recognize pedestrians and vehicles using 3D point cloud information. The technology, called VoxelNet, outperforms the current self-driving car system using LiDAR.

Carlos Guestrin then spoke about several of Apple’s large scale machine learning efforts, including the Face ID tech inside the iPhone X. Also announced was a tool that Apple recently made open source, called Turi Create. It’s meant to make it easier to add machine learning to apps.

Apple usually avoids talking about its projects, but it also wants to reassure researchers that you can still publish papers as an employee. The company has already started a machine learning journal where employees talk about their work.

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