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Apple demonstrates its commitment to AI with new open source code release

Siri could benefit by Apple's contributing its research with other people's

Apple isn't standing still on AI and machine learning — it has released a free and open-source framework for other AI developers to build on with Apple Silicon.

Even though Apple has publicly been developing Artificial Intelligence tools for years, tools that it is already implementing in the iPhone, the company is regularly perceived to be behind the rest of the industry in AI. That's the power of semantics — because Apple calls it Machine Learning instead of AI, it is believed to not be doing AI enough.

That's even after Tim Cook said that he sees AI as a fundamental technology, or revealedhow long Apple has been working on this.

Apple has decided to take its work to a very specific audience. It's giving away a deep learning (DL) framework that its Machine Learning team has developed.

It's meant to be tested, used, and improved on by other developer groups, whether they say they're working on Machine Learning, or AI.

"Just in time for the holidays, we are releasing some new software today from Apple machine learning research, says announcement on Twitter/X by Awni Hannum, part of Apple's Machine Learning Research group.

The software, or framework, is called MLX, which Hannum says "is an efficient machine learning framework specifically designed for Apple silicon (i.e. your laptop!)."

"MLX is designed by machine learning researchers for machine learning researchers," says Apple in its MLX documentation. "The framework is intended to be user-friendly, but still efficient to train and deploy models."

More than what this framework gives users, though, is how it is being presented to the world. There was no press release, no announcement, and certainly not a WWDC keynote presentation.

Instead, Apple is contributing to the open source development of AI tools, where developers can see just how the company is far from behind.

"We intend to make it easy for researchers to extend and improve MLX with the goal of quickly exploring new ideas," continued Apple.

The full source code is available on GitHub.