Computers are improving by the day, and device form factors are changing tremendously. In the past, we would only see computers at offices, but now we see them on our home desks, on our laps, in our pockets, and on our wrists. The market is becoming increasingly varied as machines are being equipped with more and more intelligence.
Almost every adult currently carries a device around with them, and it is estimated that we look at our smartphones at least 50 times a day, whether there is a need to or not. These machines affect our daily decision-making processes. Devices are now equipped with applications such as Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or Cortana, features that are designed to mimic human intelligence. The ability to answer any query thrown at them presents these types of technology as master humans. On the backend, these systems improve using the collective intelligence acquired from all users. The more you interact with virtual assistants, the better are the results they give out.
Despite these advancements, how much closer are we to creating a human brain through a machine? We are in 2018 now. If science discovers a way to control the neurons of our brain, this may be possible in the near future. Machines that mimic the capabilities of a human are helping to solve complex textual, visual, and audio problems. They resemble the tasks carried out by a human brain on a daily basis—on average, the human brain makes approximately 35,000 decisions in a day.
While we will be able to mimic the human brain in the future, it will come at a cost. We don't have a cheaper solution for it at the moment. The magnitude of power consumption of a human brain simulation program limits it in comparison to a human brain. The human brain consumes about 20 W of power, while a simulation program consumes about 1 MW of power or more. Neurons in the human brain operate at a speed of 200 Hz, while a typical microprocessor operates at a speed of 2 GHz, which is 10 million times more than that.
While we are still far from cloning a human brain, we can implement an algorithm that makes conscious decisions based on previous data as well as data from similar devices. This is where the subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes in handy. With predefined algorithms that identify patterns from the complex data we have, these types of intelligence can then give us useful information.
When the computer starts making decisions without being instructed explicitly every time, we achieve machine learning (ML) capability. ML is used everywhere right now, including through features such as identifying email spam, recommending the best product to buy on an e-commerce website, tagging your face automatically on a social media photograph, and so on. All of these are done using the patterns identified in historical data, and also through algorithms that reduce unnecessary noise from the data and produce quality output. When the data accumulates more and more, the computers can make better decisions.
Since we have wider access to mobile devices and the amount of time we spend on those devices is rapidly increasing, it makes sense to run ML models on the mobile phone itself. In the mobile phone market, Android and iOS platforms take the lead to cover the whole smartphone spectrum. We will explore how TensorFlow Lite and Core ML works on these mobile platforms.
The topics that will be covered in this chapter are as follows:
- ML basics (with an example)
- TensorFlow and Core ML basics