After shying away from “AI” for a few years, Apple has finally started to tout the “AI” capabilities of its computers. Good riddance, for I have been fairly critical of their apathy towards this move towards “augmented intelligence.” It all started with the recently announced M3 MacBooks. The star of the new chip is the GPU, with a new unique approach to caching. (You can read my analysis of the M3 Chip, and my review of the new laptop.)
Using its hardware prowess is an obvious step for Apple, but company watchers have to be excited by the quiet moves they are making on the software front. They just released MLX, a new (machine learning) ML framework for Apple Silicon. This isn’t surprising — during the M3 MacBook launch, Apple was pretty explicit in saying that it was targeting the AI and ML community with its high-end machines.
The framework, which seems to specifically leverage the GPUs, “is designed by machine learning researchers for machine learning researchers. The framework is intended to be user-friendly, but still efficient to train and deploy models.” This new framework is intended to help boost the performance needed for models such as Mistral and Stable Diffusion that can run locally. To be clear, this isn’t something that is going to impact the “normals” anytime soon — however, it could help Apple regain the affection of the developer community and what it calls “ML researchers.”
This is a good strategy — the company can still stay in its lane — hardware and chips are its edge. And at the same time benefit from the work of other researchers, especially those in the open-source community. That progress can eventually find its way into Apple’s software and other products. And, oh, by the way, this will be a good way to boost MacBook sales. 🤪
December 6, 2023. San Francisco
Also: Here are some of Apple’s other Open Source AI efforts: