Apple, IBM partnership expands with new machine learning integrations

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2018
Apple and IBM late Monday announced an expansion to their existing partnership that will allow customers to roll out advanced in-app machine learning capabilities through Apple's Core ML and IBM's Watson technology.




As detailed by TechCrunch, the project expansion lets clients develop machine learning tools based on Watson technology, then deploy those assets in app form on Apple portable devices.

Called Watson Services for Core ML, the program lets employees using equipped MobileFirst apps to analyze images, classify visual content and train models using Watson Services, according to Apple. Watson's Visual Recognition delivers pre-trained machine learning models that support images analysis for recognizing scenes, objects, faces, colors, food and other content. Importantly, image classifiers can be customized to suit client needs.

For example, a machine learning model integrated into an iOS enterprise app might be trained to distinguish a broken appliance from a photo or live iPhone camera view using Watson's image recognition capabilities. After determining the make and model, a technician can ask the app to run a database query for repair parts, return diagnostics procedures, identify parts onscreen or even assess potential problems.

Integrating Watson tech into iOS is a fairly straightforward workflow. Clients first build a machine learning model with Watson, which taps into an offsite data repository. The model is converted into Core ML, implemented in a custom app, then distributed through IBM's MobileFirst platform.

Introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference last year, Core ML is a platform tool that facilitates integration of trained neural network models built with third party tools into an iOS app. The framework is part of Apple's push into machine learning, which began in earnest with iOS 11 and the A11 Bionic chip.

"Apple developers need a way to quickly and easily build these apps and leverage the cloud where it's delivered," said Mahmoud Naghshineh, IBM's general manager, Apple partnership.

On that note, IBM is also introducing IBM Cloud Developer Console for Apple, a cloud-based service that simplify the process of building Watson models into an app. The arrangement allows for back-and-forth data sharing between an app and its backbone database, meaning the underlying machine learning model can improve itself over time if the client so chooses. Users can also tap into IBM cloud services covering authentication, data, analytics and more.

"That's the beauty of this combination. As you run the application, it's real time and you don't need to be connected to Watson, but as you classify different parts [on the device], that data gets collected and when you're connected to Watson on a lower [bandwidth] interaction basis, you can feed it back to train your machine learning model and make it even better," Naghshineh told TechCrunch.

Apple and IBM first partnered on the MobileFirst enterprise initiative in 2014. Under terms of the agreement, IBM handles hardware leasing, device management, security, analytics, mobile integration and on-site repairs, while Apple aids in software development and customer support through AppleCare.

IBM added Watson technology to the service in 2016, granting customer access to in-house APIs like Natural Language Processing and Watson Conversation. Today's machine learning capabilities are an extension of those efforts.

A number of companies now rely on MobileFirst apps to conduct business operations, from air travel to healthcare to telecommunications. Last year, Banco Santander brought the solution into the realm of banking with a suite of apps designed to deliver relevant data to financial specialists. Most recently, IBM expanded its "Garage" concept, or physical office space dedicated to MobileFirst development, with new facilities in Shanghai and Bucharest.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,398member
    Mark my words: Apple buys IBM within the next 6-8 years.
    Avieshek
  • Reply 2 of 14
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,897moderator
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  
    GeorgeBMacAvieshekmike1SpamSandwichjony0
  • Reply 3 of 14
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  


    Sometimes I feel like the march of technology towards a goal is like a person walking, but halving his speed at regular intervals. So he is always moving towards the goal, but never reaches it.

    Where are the hoverboards? The flying cars? The regular jaunts to off-world colonies for recreation?

  • Reply 4 of 14
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  


    Sometimes I feel like the march of technology towards a goal is like a person walking, but halving his speed at regular intervals. So he is always moving towards the goal, but never reaches it.

    Where are the hoverboards? The flying cars? The regular jaunts to off-world colonies for recreation?

    Like the old joke says: I [the person] can get close enough!
    GG1
  • Reply 5 of 14
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,897moderator
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  


    Sometimes I feel like the march of technology towards a goal is like a person walking, but halving his speed at regular intervals. So he is always moving towards the goal, but never reaches it.

    Where are the hoverboards? The flying cars? The regular jaunts to off-world colonies for recreation?

    Zeno’s paradox.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Mark my words: Apple buys IBM within the next 6-8 years.
    That would be the beginning of the end if it happened. IBM is the opposite of everything that makes Apple successful. Imagine how many interesting, smaller companies they could buy with those billions.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,791member
    Mark my words: Apple buys IBM within the next 6-8 years.
    That would be the beginning of the end if it happened. IBM is the opposite of everything that makes Apple successful. Imagine how many interesting, smaller companies they could buy with those billions.

    I disagree. IBM would give Apple a huge leap forward in controlling the back-end of their business, which is becoming more and more important as services ramp up and Apple pushes further into the enterprise and back into education.

    All of Apple's acquisitions thus far have resulted in features/components for their products. You can't buy a bunch of small companies and end up with something similar to what IBM does or can offer.
    Avieshekcanukstormjony0
  • Reply 8 of 14
    I was just thinking of Apple and IBM the other day and wondering how their enterprise partnership was doing since I haven’t heard much in the news lately.

    And then this little tidbit of news.....

    Seems like things are going along just fine.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,807member
    Mark my words: Apple buys IBM within the next 6-8 years.
    That would pollute Apple's corporate culture. Why do you think Apple would need to buy IBM?
  • Reply 10 of 14
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,782member
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  
    I was just going to make the same comment. Too funny.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    roakeroake Posts: 619member
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  


    Sometimes I feel like the march of technology towards a goal is like a person walking, but halving his speed at regular intervals. So he is always moving towards the goal, but never reaches it.

    Where are the hoverboards? The flying cars? The regular jaunts to off-world colonies for recreation?

    Zeno’s paradox.
    Zeno gave up the paradox when Achilles punched him in the head.  Fist kept halving the distance...
  • Reply 12 of 14
    roakeroake Posts: 619member
    What might be interesting is to see a marriage between Siri and Watson.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    zompzomp Posts: 46member
    Mark my words: Apple buys IBM within the next 6-8 years.
    That would be the beginning of the end if it happened. IBM is the opposite of everything that makes Apple successful. Imagine how many interesting, smaller companies they could buy with those billions.
    If Apple were to implement Amazon and Warren Buffets methods by buying companies and allow them to do business as usual, then it would work well. Amazon owns Zappos and others and they are performing quite well without interference from Amazon.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,066member
    How many more steps before we have a working Tricorder?  


    Sometimes I feel like the march of technology towards a goal is like a person walking, but halving his speed at regular intervals. So he is always moving towards the goal, but never reaches it.

    Where are the hoverboards? The flying cars? The regular jaunts to off-world colonies for recreation?

    Elon Musk gave us a flying car... kinda. 
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