Apple's artificial intelligence strategy continues to be focused on running workloads locally on devices, rather than relying heavily on cloud-based resources, as competitors Google, Amazon, and Microsoft do.
While this fits in with Apple's core business -- selling devices -- and the company's emphasis on user privacy, it could put it at a competitive disadvantage with many app makers, who prefer the more flexible approach from competitors as they look at add AI features.
First, it introduced a new framework called CreateML that app makers can use to train AI models on Macs.
Apple developers can try out Create ML inside the app that many of them are already very familiar with: Xcode, Apple's own app for coding programs for its devices. And they can use Swift, Apple's programming language, rather than having to pick up one that's more closely associated with AI development, like Python. To keep things simple, the software even supports dragging and dropping when the time comes to train models with a bunch of data.
Second, it announced updates to its Core ML software, first introduced last year, for easily incorporating AI models into apps for iPhones and other Apple devices. These AI models are smaller, so they will take up less space on devices once they've been embedded into apps.