Apple is beginning to act on its generative AI (genAI) plans. Machine vision intelligence at scale generates huge quantities of data. Not all of that data should exist, so how does one ensure the information that is being used and conceivably stored is appropriate, of good quality, and legitimate?
Not only this, but how can a company use public- sourced video data to train machine intelligence models without breaching privacy law? Apple has an idea for this. It’s allegedly preparing to acquire brighter AI, according to 9to5Mac.
So, who is brighterAI? The German firm, recently called “Europe’s hottest AI start-up,” describes itself as generative AI for privacy. Based on deep learning tech, the company’s solutions anonymize images and videos to help companies meet data protection regulations. This goes a little deeper than you think. Apple already has its own tech for tasks like deleting people and car registration data from images in Maps.
What the tech does: The German start-up’s tech goes further, identifying what is seen, anonymizing it, and then returning a natural seeming image. In other words, it may take a person’s face and then anonymize it, returning what seems to be a natural face that does not look like the original. Or, in the case of a vehicle, it might identify the registration plate and replace it with a fake one.
The idea here is that the images created within the process seem as normal as any other image, but don’t abuse privacy. This could enable companies to use recorded camera data for analytics and AI.
Why does the acquisition matter? To begin, we know Apple has a mission with visionOS, and that within that mission those cameras on those systems will be picking up a lot of information. These devices effectively become data centers. Apple doesn’t want to become responsible for all that data. Not only would doing so be an abuse of user privacy, but it would also ignore other people’s data privacy needs.
So, for Apple, it makes sense to ensure the systems it builds simply don’t gather the information in the first place. (That’s essentially the mantra that drives Apple’s entire approach to privacy and machine intelligence).
Implications for machine imaging and data management: The other way this might be of use is data grading. When asked to do a task, even intelligent machines will analyze all the information they’re given, so why not eliminate data that is irrelevant, personal or otherwise cannot be used? When it comes to making decisions or augmenting environments using information picked up by on-device cameras, it’s just sensible to ignore the first category entirely. That’s obviously easier to do with still images, but Vision Pro shows that transient moving image data is also part of the future of computing.
How it might be used: That’s later down the road (literally), but for now I suspect there will be numerous ways in which this tech is deployed. There might also be implications in later data lifecycle management. There could be implications in copyright. (Though copyright holders will argue that even if original footage is anonymized, it was still based on their work.) This is likely just one component that reflects Apple’s future plans for use of AI in its products, particularly within its machine vision intelligence teams. Key takeaways:
1. BrighterAI is a German firm specializing in generative AI for privacy.
2. The tech anonymizes images and videos to help companies comply with data protection regulations.
3. Apple’s acquisition of BrighterAI reflects its commitment to user privacy and ethical data practices.
4. The tech has implications for machine imaging, data management, and data lifecycle.
1. What is the purpose of BrighterAI? The purpose of BrighterAI is to provide deep learning tech that anonymizes images and videos to help companies meet data protection regulations, ensuring data privacy and ethical use of information.
2. How might Apple use this technology? Apple might use this technology to prevent the collection of extensive data on its devices, prioritizing user privacy and ethical data management.
All in all, we’re certainly seeing Apple make the first steps in what will turn out to be 2024’s Apple AI arms race. With BrighterAI’s expertise, they are making strides in becoming a leader in ethical machine learning and data privacy.