Apple wants to increase its artificial intelligence (AI) staff, for which it is hiring experts from Ph.D. programs. The company is posting several job openings, as is evident from a review of hiring sites and is also confirmed by many sources, says a report from Reuters.

Apple Inc. Ramps AI Hiring But Privacy Issues Could Limit Progress

Apple taking on Google, Facebook

Competitor Google has always provided users with an amazing search feature that has helped it dominate this area. Now Apple wants to beat Google in this area, for which it is hiring at least 86 employees who have expertise in machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence, as indicated by a recent job listing posted by the iPhone firm.

Citing leading academics, the report says companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and many others have given birth to a fierce contest of adding more machine-learning Ph.Ds to their human resources. Now Apple has also joined the race too.

Machine Learning is a technique that studies user behavior and makes intelligent guesses about customers’ next demands. It provides unprompted services to users, such as the scores of a sports team, by going through vast amounts of data. It also provides useful information related to day-to-day activities, such as giving reminders to a user when he/she should leave for an appointment based on traffic. The accuracy of predictions about the needs of an individual depends largely on the amount of data about their habits.

Privacy issues could limit Apple’s efforts

However, experts believe Apple might not be able to compete in the rapidly progressing field because of its strict stance on privacy, which will ultimately lead to undermining its ability.

Apple makes serious efforts to ensure that the data of its users is protected, for which it imposes certain constraints on the analysis of its users’ behavior. Rather than sending the data of iPhone users to the cloud, Apple relies on analyzing data on individuals’ own devices. This way it is not able to study the data alongside information from millions of others, says the report.

Joseph Gonzalez, co-founder of Dato, a machine learning startup, told Reuters, “They want to make a phone that responds to you very quickly without knowledge of the rest of the world. It’s harder to do that.” Apple is expected to reveal the new iPhones and the latest mobile OS on Sept. 9, and then only the strategy of the firm will come into clearer focus.