Apple’s Preference for Artificial Intelligence Powered Devices and Services That Respect Your Privacy
Apple’s Approach to AI: Privacy-First
According to a Tuesday report shared by The Information, Apple has quietly acquired privacy-focused AI startup, Silk Labs. While Silk Labs is a relatively small acquisition as the company’s round of prior funding had raised $4 million only and had 12 employees, the purchase demonstrates a growing divide between Apple and other tech giants hotly pursuing artificial intelligence growth.
While companies like Google focus on providing the most accessible AI services with the hope that providing ease of use will overcome privacy concerns, Apple takes the opposite approach, insisting upon privacy. From taking photos to asking Siri questions or getting directions, users can be confident using Apple’s platform that their data remains private and that Apple does not gather their personal information to sell to advertisers or other organizations.
The Sense smart-home assistant launched on Kickstarter was the first AI product of Silk Labs and ran completely on local user devices. While Sense was never brought to market, the product reflected the same privacy-focused philosophy that Apple has taken regarding the use of artificial intelligence.
Google Focuses on Scale and Ease of Use at the Cost of Privacy
On the other hand, Google’s recent AI acquisitions, Onward and Dialogflow, are cloud-based services that employ natural language processing to communicate with customers at scale. Scale and ease of use are the dominant factors affecting Google’s approach to AI to work with its existing business strategy.
To Share or Not to Share?
A 2017 study by Deloitte discovered that a majority of Americans are not comfortable sharing their browsing and social media activity with companies. Nonetheless, the number of Americans who are willing to do so has still doubled from 2014 to 2016.
How will consumers respond as the race for AI dominance continues? Will the decision be based on technology performance, ease of use and scalability? Will consumers be more concerned about their personal freedom and privacy? Perhaps then, the popularity of AI platforms in the future will be determined more by philosophy than technology. Apple seems to think so.