Geo Week News

December 9, 2016

Apple hints at lidar plans for an artificial intelligence


At a recent artificial intelligence conference, Apple held an invitation-only lunch. There, the company’s head of machine learning laid out the broad outline of their artificial intelligence project, including the main challenges they are attempting to solve. Central to those challenges, according to some slides obtained by Quartz, is lidar.

Most surprisingly, the company does not appear to be using lidar as a tool for navigation in self-driving automobiles. Quartz reported that “two attendees of the presentation, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitive nature elf the content, both stressed that the company made no mention of cars or automotive ambitions.”

So what are they using lidar for, exactly? Apple intends to give its AI the power of volumetric measurement, which would seem to contribute to their secondary goal of “holistic scene understanding.”

Apple may still intend to use lidar for their long-rumored autonomous car project—but that’s no reason to believe that we aren’t getting closer and closer to an Apple-branded artificial intelligence that uses lidar as its primary sensor for environmental understanding.

As always, we can speculate all we want, but only time will tell. Check out Quartz for more information.

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