Apple is, notoriously, one of the most secretive tech companies in America. This is certainly true within its AI units, where researchers are reportedly not allowed to announce their positions on LinkedIn, leave their doors unlocked, or collaborate with other Apple teams working on parallel projects, let alone present their genius findings to other scientists exploring the bleeding-edge frontiers of machine learning.
Until now, it seems. The Cupertino company is letting its AI researchers publish their academic work, reports Bloomberg. It’s a practice already embraced by competitors like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
Why now? With competition for top AI talent heating up, it’s going to be more and more difficult for Apple to attract the best and brightest with money and computing resources alone. These are scientists we’re talking about, after all—creative minds who want to engage with academia and the world. They want to publish, and they want other researchers to interact with their work. But also, AI is a complex and evolving area, and Apple can’t win this one without the field’s best minds, acquisitions such as Siri and Turi notwithstanding.
For its part, within its own AI community, Facebook has taken a radically different approach than Apple. Read about Facebook’s attempts to become the Athens of AI in this great feature by Daniel Terdiman.