Apple is ‘Very Focused on Autonomous Systems’

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has a variety of different use cases, and, if you ask Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, one big area is autonomous systems.

Today, during the earnings call that allowed Apple’s publication of its fiscal third quarter earnings, Tim Cook spoke a little about autonomous systems, after fielding a question being asked from the group. Cook has previously said that self-driving software for vehicles is “incredibly exciting,” and it isn’t a secret at this point that Apple is working on autonomous systems right now in vehicles.

Cook believes autonomous systems are the “mother of all AI,” and said that Apple is currently investing quite a bit on that front. Cook, breaking with a bit of tradition here with Apple traditionally trying to keep everything a secret on top of a secret, said that the company currently has at least one “large project going.”

Interestingly enough, Cook continued to stoke the fire, too, making sure that those on the call –and anyone else keeping tabs on what Apple may do next– know that while autonomous systems have a big market for self-driving vehicles, that’s not all the technology can, and will be used for. He said that there are “many different areas of it,” but added that he doesn’t “want to go any further with that.”

One of the easiest and most accessible ways that autonomous systems could be implemented for Apple, other than self-driving cars, is part of the supply chain and manufacturing areas for Apple’s products. But of course there are obviously areas where consumer products could take advantage of the technology, too.

With Apple’s CEO going out of his way to promote autonomous systems, much in the same way he has done with augmented reality, it will be interesting to see what that turns into in the future. We already know Cook’s drive to promote augmented reality has turned into ARKit, and making iOS one of the biggest platforms for AR in the world.