Smartphones Finally Begin to Justify the Word "Smart"

The terms "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning" have recently gained incredible popularity. And this is not only due to advances in science and technology, but because intellectual systems have become closer to people, and in many respects it is the merit of smartphones.

Even today, smartphones show us the best route, taking into account traffic jams, advise the movie based on our preferences, are able to stylize our photos for Van Gogh's works and much more. Manufacturers of smartphones even began to install special "neural co-processors", which are designed to speed up these operations. This processor, for example, has a new Honor View 10 from Huawei.



How many times a day do you use algorithms based on neural networks without knowing it? A smartphone recognizes your speech when you communicate with a voice assistant or put the final point of a route. It uses methods to separate the useful signal from noise when recording sound. Recognizes the face or aligns the color balance on the photo.

You can use neural networks in smartphones in one of two ways. The first one being getting original information (photo or sound track), send it to a remote server (as they say, into the cloud), there to process and then download the answer back to the smartphone. This method has a number of drawbacks. First, you need to have a stable connection to the Internet of a sufficiently high speed. Secondly, the constant transfer of photos to the server is not very popular with people in terms of privacy.

Smartphone manufacturers are currently developing and implementing a special type of processor - NPU (neural processing unit), which is also called AI accelerator. They are designed to increase the performance of parallel computing in a manner similar to the GPU and consume less power. These processors along with the GPU and conventional CPUs are installed on the same chip inside the smartphone.

For example, one of the first chips with an embedded artificial intelligence accelerator is the Kirin 970 processor from Huawei, which was introduced in September 2017. Now such a processor is installed in the new smartphone Honor View 10. The manufacturer says that today this chip performs a number of functions, that is, "on board":

Recognizing the scene when taking a photo that adapts the camera settings to the object in the foreground.

Analysing the user's actions and adapting to how they use the smartphone, in order to minimize energy costs.

Machine translation, performed by a pre-installed program from Microsoft, uses a neural processing unit for its neural network.

A special neural network for suppressing noise in recorded audio signals.

The smartphone finally begins to justify the word "smart" in its name, having received a processor that accelerates the solution of artificial intelligence tasks. Now it is stuffed with many algorithms that solve complex technical problems sometimes even better than a person can solve them. One of such tasks is the analysis of the owner's actions. Just a bit more and your smartphone will know more about you than your own mother. The future is already here. And if you think that the revolt of cars will begin, when skyNet declares a hunt for John Connor, then you are mistaken. It has already begun. And it is, perhaps, already in your pocket under the disguise of a usual gadget.