Advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence are weaving their influence through many industries, including mobile technology. Consumers and marketers are seeing the direct effects that ML and AI in smartphones are having on mobile software and hardware. With every update, our lives are made easier.
Mobile AI: Your Decision-Making Companion
Have you thought about how much time per day you spend looking at your phone? One study says at least 5 hours, sometimes more. In the modern age, it’s commonplace to involve our smartphone in a very high-percentage of the decisions we make every day, both large and small. And it’s estimated that the average person makes more than 35,000 decisions every day.
AI in your smartphone is not a futuristic concept. It’s already a large part of the way it operates. Many of the mobile features you use every day are a result of the artificial intelligence integrated into your phone’s functionality. And all of that functionality will become even more efficient very soon. The idea of your smartphone as a companion is about to become even more real.
How does AI work, in simple terms? It allows computers to learn by example through large datasets. The term for this is machine learning or ML. When AI and ML work together, it creates an environment where computers can learn rules and acquire information not unlike how humans do, without being programmed with particular rules for every possible eventuality. In other words, computers are taught to figure out likely outcomes via generalization and pattern recognition in real-time.
Marketing Managers Should Be Excited
What does ever-evolving smartphone AI mean for marketers? In all seriousness, this is the marketing pot of gold. Think about what marketing managers do. They identify the needs of their customers and deliver a product. And if existing products don’t meet those needs, they develop new ones.
How does mobile tech AI help?
Even without artificial intelligence, mobile technology provides a wealth of insights into the behavior of the entire human race. Or as they’re also called: customers. Mobile tech gives marketers all the information they could ever wish for; information that marketers 50 years ago would have paid a fortune for. All of our interests, travel habits, who we associated with, and more are recorded and categorized by mobile and internet technology.
When you add AI into this picture, the mass amounts of data becomes more than manageable. The technology can then sift and sort through the endless gigabytes of info. This allows for a level of customer understanding that only a short time ago would have been unimaginable and priceless to any marketer.
Do Some Phones Already Have Advanced AI?
Consider these real-world details about how mobile technology and AI/ML are being used together. Apple iPhones, Google Pixels, Samsung Galaxies, and Huawei Mates are all unique mobile products because they contain special AI hardware. These phones have an AI-efficiency that other models don’t. In 2020, these 4 groups of smartphones accounted for 35% of all handset sales. In time, AI will be simply another common term associated with smartphones. Just like mobile data, prepaid plans, and others.
Some prominent features with integrated AI technology include iPhone X’s FaceID, Siri (Apple), Bixby (Samsung), and Alexa (Amazon), Google’s Super Res Zoom, Google Assistant, and Bixby Vision.
You’re probably using many of these features daily, perhaps without realizing they are mostly powered by AI and ML.
Why Is AI In Smartphones Prioritized By Manufacturers?
Because the end goal of these companies is to do everything they can to improve user experience. In doing so, more people purchase their products. Integrating AI in increasingly innovative ways does exactly that. The smarter your phone becomes, the more of a use it to you; the more of a convenience it is to always have it with you.
To them, the stakes are very high. The world has reached a point where personal cell phones are basically ubiquitous. This is a primary reason why smartphone manufacturers are constantly upgrading AI software and microprocessor hardware. Doing so increases user experience and hopefully lures customers away from competitors.
Did you know there are approximately 12 sensors in the average smartphone? These sensors are tied to the cameras, microphones, GPS, accelerometers, and more. Sensors like these have been part of our smartphones for a long time, collecting data. And as AI/ML gets more advanced, it does much more than collect data. It uses it.
Tasks Executed By AI In Smartphones
Almost all high-end smartphones have camera features equipped with AI. Of all the features in a smartphone, this is the most conducive to AI integration (at least so far). It’s AI that identifies if you’re taking a photo of a person or a landscape and then adjusts settings and filters accordingly and selects the appropriate lens based on lighting.
Google’s Photobooth feature uses AI technology to take selfies, but only when you are your friends are pulling silly faces.
Voice Assistant AI
Siri, Alexa, Bixby, and other virtual assistants are all powered by AI. And if you’ve had a smartphone since their humble beginnings, you know how far these voice assistants have come. And they’re improving faster than ever. Speech recognition on new high-end models can now comprehend speech better in a noisy environment than a human listener. This is one AI feature that is bound to become more invaluable with each innovation.
The Call Screener featured in Google phones is worth mentioning here. A voice assistant answers calls for you, communicates with them on a basic level, and then provides you with a text summary of the interaction.
Image Search AI
Image search and image editing software in many smartphones use AI. Red-eye removal, image sorting, name recognition, and more. Has your phone ever curated a personalized slideshow story of relevant photos with music and animations? That was AI.
Augmented Reality AI
Smartphone chips are equipped with something called neural processing engines (it’s called by other names, as well). These are targeted AI processors that make things like Apple’s Animjoi possible. Many more improvements and features made possible by these AR engines are sure to surface this year.
Day-To-Day Operations AI
In Google phones, AI is integrated into the core search engine. This means that all the features that work in the background (including default, factory operations like security and battery life management) are always adapting based on your usage habits.
Facial Recognition AI
Some new models (particularly the iPhone X) have implemented a facial recognition unlock feature. This, of course, is AI. Machine learning taps into your phone’s onboard camera images to make this possible. Apple phones have a feature called True Depth that uses AI. It’s a payment authentication feature that creates a 3D image of your face and uses it to validate digital payments, such as Apple Pay. It can also log you into apps.
Many mobile cameras are already advanced enough via AI and ML to recognize a user’s face even while wearing glasses or facial hair.
If you’re a regular music listener and use a Google Pixel, you love the Playing Now feature. Originally featured in the Pixel 3, the efficiency and accuracy of this music recognition software is the result of AI.
More About AI Microprocessors In Smartphones
Obviously, AI has already made a significant impact on mobile technology prior to 2021. It’s clear that manufacturers give high priority to their AI strategies; staying current in a peak smartphone market. They have all accelerated their AI investments this year, doing everything they can to increase AI-based user experiences.
As a result, new microprocessors are being fast-tracked. Many of these have been specially designed for lightning-fast and efficient AI/ML math.
Huawei’s Kirin Processor
Smartphones made by Chinese mega-corp Huawei (particularly their Mate line) are built with the Kirin processor – a neural engine. Huawei claims this processor is the first of its kind. It has “built-in AI” which includes a 970 chipset supposedly capable of processing 2000 images a minute. They confirmed that the Kirin will be included in their Mate range, including the Mate 10.
Apple’s A12 Bionic Chip
Apple has been pushing the limits of mobile AI for some time now. Their AI-specialized microprocessor – the A12 Bionic chip – was included in their smartphones as early as the iPhone 8. And they’ve been improving it ever since.
Recently, Apple has given chip access to their app development community. Now third-party app developers can use the dedicated processors in whatever customized way they want. This allows them to finally experiment with and execute AI tasks in a sort of free-market way, which will certainly lead to unique innovations.
AI In Smartphones Is Rebuilding The Mobile Phone Market
As expected, AI is already creating a revolution in the smartphone industry. And the revolution is accelerating. AI has some very big expectations and promises surrounding it, and so far, it’s living up to them. Even though many experts still consider us in the beginning stages of true AI, the excitement is undeniable. Right now, AI in the mobile space is being utilized mostly to help analyze and predict human (consumer) behavior. But the applications are endless and will undoubtedly grow quickly. Things will happen soon that will continue changing the landscape of mobile phone markets around the world.
Each time you get a new smartphone, one of the first things you notice is how it operates smoother than your last phone. It runs better, responds faster, etc. All of that is AI getting more advanced with each model. Manufacturers know that user interface is one of the key factors that influence our opinion on overall experience. That’s why so much of the AI in smartphones is invested in that area.
AI In Smartphones: How Artificial Intelligence Is Affecting Mobile Tech in 2021 – Conclusion
The more decisions our smartphones help us make (or make for us), the more we use them – the more the public loves them and relies on them. And as we’ve already said, we’ve really just begun to truly apply AI in our mobile technology in meaningful ways. And if we look back at the history of specific technological advances, this is the point where the fast-track begins. Integrating and building these features will become cheaper and more efficient.
2021 is sure to yield exciting improvements in the application of AI in smartphones.
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