Apple's AI plans involves 'black box' for cloud data

Posted:
in iOS edited May 29

Apple's efforts in AI could pay off in its WWDC announcements, but it is also very keen to protect user data at the same time. Here's how it will get done.

Close-up of a smartphone with a glowing, colorful Siri icon on its screen, set against a black background.
Siri on an iPhone



Apple is expected to make a number of big plays in AI for WWDC. The changes are anticipated to include big things in iOS 18 and its other operating systems, with app feature changes such as audio transcription apparently on the way.

But, with privacy a core tenet of Apple's work, it's doing what it can to protect its users.

According to sources of The Information, Apple intends to process data from AI applications inside a virtual black box. The concept, known as "Apple Chips in Data Centers" (ACDC) internally, would involve only Apple's hardware being used to perform AI processing in the cloud.

The idea is that it will control both the hardware and software on its servers, enabling it to design more secure systems.

While on-device AI processing is highly private, the initiative could make cloud processing for Apple customers to be similarly secure.

On-device processing is inherently private, due to not ferrying data away to the cloud. The problem is that it can be a lot slower compared to cloud processing.

However, cloud processing can be a lot more powerful, albeit with the privacy tradeoff. This latter element is what Apple's trying to avoid.

Avoiding use and abuse



Part of the problem is the potential for the uploaded data to be misused, or exposed by hackers. With a reliance on cloud servers, AI services do pose a risk to user data getting out.

By taking control over how data is processed in the cloud, it would make it easier for Apple to implement processes to make a breach much harder to actually happen.

Furthermore, the black box approach would also prevent Apple itself from being able to see the data. As a byproduct, this means it would also be difficult for Apple to hand over any personal data from government or law enforcement data requests.

Its ACDC initiative can be even more beneficial to Apple in terms of future device designs. By offloading AI features to the cloud, Apple could reduce the hardware requirements of its future products, making lighter wearables and other devices.

Secure Enclaves



Core to the ACDC initiative, which was detailed earlier in May, is the Secure Enclave. Used on the iPhone to store biometric data, the Secure Enclave is a protected element that holds data like passwords and encryption keys, preventing access to the sensitive data by hackers if they compromise iOS or the hardware.

Under the plan, the Secure Enclave would be used to isolate data processed on the servers, former Apple employees told the report. Doing so means the data can't be seen by other elements of the system, nor Apple itself.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,829member
    I hope this is the case. Earlier rumours suggested that OpenAI was building up their systems to handle a bunch of new load from Apple’s customers. If that were the case it would be a non starter for me. I don’t trust OpenAI. I’d just start looking for ways to disable the features that used their systems. 
    williamlondonhammeroftruthwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    ssfe11ssfe11 Posts: 40member
    Apple will get AI w Privacy done as they always step up and consumers/businesses will love it. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    fumifumi Posts: 24member
    ssfe11 said:
    Apple will get AI w Privacy done as they always step up and consumers/businesses will love it. 
    Really? They can't even delete photos securely.
    mikethemartiangrandact73williamlondonbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 4 of 22
    AfarstarAfarstar Posts: 54member
    fumi said:
    ssfe11 said:
    Apple will get AI w Privacy done as they always step up and consumers/businesses will love it. 
    Really? They can't even delete photos securely.
    Wrong - people weren’t wiping their phones correctly when passing them on. 
    Alex_Vwilliamlondonwatto_cobracoolfactor
  • Reply 5 of 22
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,147member
    Sounds like a paid sub feature to me 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 22
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 579member
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.

    WWDC this year was supposed to be all about Spacial Computing (VisionPro) and I hope that is still the case.  But the media seems to think that Apple will be all about AI.   My hope is that Apple spends some time on the plans noted in this article and highlights why longer term with will be a fantastic opportunity for Apple and its customers - but focus on the current hardware and software projects.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,261member
    Of course the EU, UK, DOJ and many more will bring lawsuits against Apple for only using Apple hardware and software. It will be nice when these corrupt government agencies are finally slapped silly by consumers who will vote them out of office. 
    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.
    ctt_zh
  • Reply 9 of 22
    williamlondonwilliamlondon Posts: 1,353member
    fumi said:
    ssfe11 said:
    Apple will get AI w Privacy done as they always step up and consumers/businesses will love it. 
    Really? They can't even delete photos securely.
    Are you paid to come here and say shit like that?
    paisleydiscoAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    edited May 30 williamlondonwatto_cobracoolfactor
  • Reply 11 of 22
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 
    edited May 30 gatorguyctt_zhAlex1N
  • Reply 12 of 22
    beowulfschmidtbeowulfschmidt Posts: 2,206member
    Afarstar said:
    fumi said:
    ssfe11 said:
    Apple will get AI w Privacy done as they always step up and consumers/businesses will love it. 
    Really? They can't even delete photos securely.
    Wrong - people weren’t wiping their phones correctly when passing them on. 

    I thought the problem was a glitch that occasionally deleted the photographic database entry, but not the actual photograph?  So when the update happened, iOS found the actual file and re-added it to the database.
    ctt_zhwilliamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    danvm said:
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 

    Since when has Apple given out details about anything major that wasn't ready to ship, I would prefer Apple keep designing/engineering building the M4, M5 and M6 SOC'S, but target some of those chip towards servers for themselves and the public and until WWDC no one really knows where Apple is in AI, but we do know what/where Apple Silicon is when compared to the competition over the last four years, ahead of the pack. With Neural Engines, LiDAR, UMA memory, bandwidth and plenty of Apple OS support. 
    hammeroftruthAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,323member
    danvm said:
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 
    A lot of it is because of the way Apple handles privacy and your data. They have to create a system that doesn’t identify who you are but yet can create the query you want with relevant information inside that data and sometimes some of that data can be used to identify you, so how does Apple handle your AI needs without knowing who you are and acquiring information that could identify you as an individual and not a random query?

    Remember what Matthew McConaughey’s ad said: "Data is the new Gold".  You create gold by sharing information. Just be aware of who you share it with. 
     
    danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 

    Since when has Apple given out details about anything major that wasn't ready to ship, I would prefer Apple keep designing/engineering building the M4, M5 and M6 SOC'S, but target some of those chip towards servers for themselves and the public and until WWDC no one really knows where Apple is in AI, but we do know what/where Apple Silicon is when compared to the competition over the last four years, ahead of the pack. With Neural Engines, LiDAR, UMA memory, bandwidth and plenty of Apple OS support. 
    We know that, as today, Apple is behind in AI / LLM.  Maybe they announce something that changes the AI market in WWDC.  But if at the end, they have to use and depend in OpenAI / Microsoft for their AI / LMM, that would confirm they are not ready with their own technology and infrastructure.  That's different from MS and Google, that already have the AI / LLM infrastructure in place and implemented in some of their services and apps.  

    And I think is nonsense to compare Apple Silicon to AI processors from MS, Google, Amazon and Nvidia. One is a multipurpose SoC for notebooks and PCs, while Maia, Axio, and Graviton4 / Trainium2 are designed for AI tasks in datacenters. Until Apple have their own AI / LLM datacenter running with Apple Silicon we won't know how compares to the competition.  
    Alex1N
  • Reply 16 of 22
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    danvm said:
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 
    A lot of it is because of the way Apple handles privacy and your data. They have to create a system that doesn’t identify who you are but yet can create the query you want with relevant information inside that data and sometimes some of that data can be used to identify you, so how does Apple handle your AI needs without knowing who you are and acquiring information that could identify you as an individual and not a random query?

    Remember what Matthew McConaughey’s ad said: "Data is the new Gold".  You create gold by sharing information. Just be aware of who you share it with. 
     
    I might have agreed with you had Apple been enhancing their infrastructure for AI, refining Siri, and integrating AI into their services and applications over the past years. However, they focused on the AVP and EV /"Apple Car". Now, they are pivoting, recognizing that the market and competition focus is on AI. Perhaps they will unveil something at WWDC that revolutionizes the AI/LLM industry. Looking forward to what they announce.  
  • Reply 17 of 22
    tipoo said:
    Sounds like a paid sub feature to me 
    My guess is like private relay this gets bundled with iCloud+ this is the sort of top feature where cost doesn’t matter what they want is users and they want users to associate this with their iPhone and see it as valuable. But they also can’t give it away to people who will take it for granted. So liking it to iCloud storage or to Apple One is a safe bet. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 278member
    Wow. Are we missing the real news here? Apple is building servers again, this time with their own CPU chips. Could this lead to the reintroduction of MacOS servers? Or even Apple Silicon Linux servers?
  • Reply 19 of 22
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,273member
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.


    Why is it important that Apple be first, or the biggest?

    What has always mattered is the execution... how well the products work. Reliability, trustability, consistency, convenience.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 22
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,067member
    danvm said:
    danvm said:
    danox said:
    danvm said:
    emoeller said:
    This is great news, and very Apple!

    NVIDIA is getting a lot of attention today for its chips, but in reality it isn't so much its chips that make AI work it is their software platform and its ability to integrate with its chips.    Sounds like Apple doesn't it - and in fact it is.

    Apple has an AI opportunity to leapfrog everyone else by utilizing its chips and an ultra-efficient software stack to process Large Language Models (LLM) on its servers.  This will also allow Apple to take the high road in terms of ensuring that only high quality and LEGAL data is used for its AI LLMs - something no other AI company currently is doing.
    What you suggest of Apple utilizing its processors and software stack is already in place in Microsoft, Google and Amazon with Maia, Axion and Trainium2. A big advantage these three companies have is that already have large datacenters in place, while Apple still behind in this area.  Apple had an opportunity to be a leader in this market, but didn't took advantage of it, and now competition are ahead of them. We'll see what they announce in WWDC.

    Apple isn't behind as many would like to believe and their path will be different than the rest in tech and the resulting geek howl will be hilarious as usual.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/1cwdlak/notebookcheck_apple_m4_soc_analysis_amd_intel_and/ 

    https://beebom.com/early-snapdragon-x-elite-benchmarks-cant-beat-apple-m3/
    My comment was about processors used in datacenters, and has no relation to the M4 SoC used in a tablet device.

    Second, if Apple is not behind in AI, why we are waiting for WWDC to see their AI/LLM roadmap? That's different from. MS and Google, that already have AI/LLM implemented in their products and services. 
    A lot of it is because of the way Apple handles privacy and your data. They have to create a system that doesn’t identify who you are but yet can create the query you want with relevant information inside that data and sometimes some of that data can be used to identify you, so how does Apple handle your AI needs without knowing who you are and acquiring information that could identify you as an individual and not a random query?

    Remember what Matthew McConaughey’s ad said: "Data is the new Gold".  You create gold by sharing information. Just be aware of who you share it with. 
     
    I might have agreed with you had Apple been enhancing their infrastructure for AI, refining Siri, and integrating AI into their services and applications over the past years. However, they focused on the AVP and EV /"Apple Car". Now, they are pivoting, recognizing that the market and competition focus is on AI. Perhaps they will unveil something at WWDC that revolutionizes the AI/LLM industry. Looking forward to what they announce.  
    Apple has a pretty good history of coming to the party late. Then when we look back a bit later, it’s quite evident the party hadn’t started until they arrived. 

    Others rush to market to be “first,” but in their hurry haven’t thought things out. Then Apple shows up - as the chuckling peanut gallery looks on - and offers a device, feature or service that customers find indispensable, Apple finds profitable, and competitors find they need to copy. 

    Maybe it’ll be different this time, but I wouldn’t bet on it. 
    edited June 2
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