Full-screen smartphones still remain a trending concept in the industry but another aspect that is gradually becoming a trend is artificial intelligence (AI). It is now becoming a major selling point for phone makers to market their smartphones as coming with AI technology but in reality, some of these phones have nothing to show for such claims.
Three Features Which Are Being Touted As AI Mobile Phones
The AI concept started its journey on mobile phones in 2016. Now, a look at all the AI mobile phones that have been released since then shows that all the ones that are apparently fake all have same characteristics.
1. Intelligent process management called “AI intelligent scheduling”
After the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow upgrade, Doze mode was added. In Doze mode, the system attempts to conserve battery by restricting apps’ access to network and CPU-intensive services. Over time, when the device is not charged and stays static for a long time, the system dispatches fewer and fewer sessions, which helps reduce battery consumption. We can see the logic of the Doze pattern from the map of the development of a siege lion by the Android framework known as Fireflies. This is a mechanism for Android resource recall calls based on runtime.
After Google launched Android 6.0, it warned all mobile phone manufacturers not to emasculate this model, that is to say, all mobile phones equipped with Android 6.0 actually have this smart scheduling mechanism. This is a natural feature of Android 6.0, but has been treated as a selling point by some mobile phone manufacturers who tweaked the name to “AI smart scheduling” in order to make it more attractive. Those who are not privy to this will erroneously think that mobile phone manufacturers use AI to develop a smart Scheduling features.
Rather, the to develop an AI-based smart scheduling, the feature needs to be coordinated with the AI processor to learn user behaviour and decide how to schedule memory and processor resources according to the user’s daily use. This is a resource utilization efficiency that is much higher than the Doze mode.
2. A Single Software AI Function Exaggerated into “AI mobile phone”
AI itself is a very common concept. The voice assistant in the mobile phone is AI, the depth of field on the camera, the aperture algorithm is AI, the face recognition uses artificial intelligence as well. Even apps such as image editing apps like Meitu Xiuxiu which is popular in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as news apps could be considered AI. There are a lot of good AI apps on our mobile phones, but instead of calling them AI before, we called them algorithms – such as the portraiture of smartphones. This is a typical application relying on algorithmic imaging.
These software AI functions can indeed be seen as AI landing on mobile phones, but it should be noted that these technologies are only some of the more basic applications of artificial intelligence technology. Mobile phones equipped with these features are definitely not AI phones.
A good number of mobile phone manufacturers will include some of these algorithm features on their mobile phones and claim that such phones are AI mobiles. This approach is purely a marketing trick. However, for some beauty-loving buyers, it looks like a new technology in the cloud. This kind of routine has become a popular means of defrauding users through information asymmetry.
3. Adding AI function in the chip called “AI chip”
Some chip vendors, such as Qualcomm, will add a machine learning framework to the chip to improve the performance of the camera’s computing. This feature was added to all high-, medium-, and low-end chips in 2017. In other words, in fact, such high-end low-end chips as Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 625 include this technology.
In fact, this technology does not have much novelty. Originally, this is a very normal action, but it is often interpreted by mobile phone manufacturers the launch of a new phone using such chip as an “AI chip,” and thus they label such phone as AI mobile phone.
This feature and Android 6.0’s Doze mode is almost exactly the same, both of which are deliberately being exaggerated to hoodwink some buyers who might be attracted to the product because of the perceived AI feature. This style of marketing is even used in offline stores and not just online.
In general, a fake AI mobile phone is just an ordinary mobile phone. It is all gimmick aimed at marketing the mobile phone.There aren’t many improvements and yet consumers most times have to pay more for the so-called “AI.”
Three Major Features of Genuine AI Mobile Phones – The Real Deal
In an era where so many mobile phones are promoted as having AI, one may wonder how to differentiate the genuine AI-packing smartphone from fakes. These three features would come in handy.
1. Independent AI processing unit
Last year, we welcomed the use of a dedicated Neural Processing Unit on mobile phones, spearheaded by Huawei’s Kirin 970 chipset. Adding a processor dedicated to complex data sorting algorithms can help smartphones and other technologies become better, and provide better support for new technologies, from automatic image enhancement to faster video library search.
Mobile phones without AI processors are not AI phones. The most typical AI processor on the market is the Apple A11 bionic smart processor on the Apple iPhone X – it has a chip with an independent AI processing unit. The addition of the neural network engine allows the iPhone X to distribute tasks properly between the performance core and the performance core.
For the average person, the most intuitive benefit is a significant increase in battery life. It will distribute tasks reasonably between the performance core and the energy efficiency core, intelligently managing the performance of the chip. Whether it is texting or browsing the web, the main chip will reduce the amount of computation and increase the battery life.
In China, the Hisilicon Kirin 970 on the Honor V10, Huawei Mate 10 series, as well as the recently launched Huawei P20, is also an AI chip. Utilizing the NPU specifically to handle machine-learning-related operations, using the HiAI mobile computing architecture, AI performance is significantly better than CPU and GPU. It can intelligently manage and balance the performance at the core and adjust the performance of the processor core according to the usage status, so as to achieve the purpose of rapid calculation and power saving.
2. Phones with supporting AI Operating system
The AI operating system is also an integral part of real AI mobile phones. With AI chips, 8-16-bit floating-point numbers, pattern matching, database lookups, bitfield operations, and highly parallel processing, all can accelerate the speed of task completion.
Android 8.0 released in 2017 is actually trying system-level AI functions. For example, in the face of Android’s ills – size, power consumption and other issues, Android 8.0 is using practical AI to help users intelligently determine the frequency of use of software. For some infrequently used software, the system will automatically shut down the software, which can greatly reduce the burden on the CPU and make the phone smoother and lighter. It is said that on the upcoming Android 9.0, Google will also carry out AI exploration in both voice and operating system.
In fact, the earliest domestic attempt to implement AI at the system level is Huawei’s EMUI. The EMUI 8.0 on the Honor V10 is also a typical AI operating system. The system will understand and summarize the user’s habits, under the guidance of the “critical business priorities” rule, open higher-level computing privileges for software that users frequently use and software that is used at certain time points.
The EMUI 8.0 system of the Honor V10, together with the AI processor, can achieve reasonable deployment of the overall hardware resources of the mobile phone, perform multi-core heterogeneous resource scheduling, enable application resource-aware scheduling, greatly improve system fluency, and remain smooth for 500 days of prolonged use.
Compared to the hard disk time scheduling mechanism of Doze mode on native Android 6.0 and 7.0. This is based on user behaviour analysis, and then smart scheduling resources.
3. Features open bottom AI and AI ecology
Artificial intelligence technology needs the participation of developers, and developers can form a complete ecosystem. The open AI ecosystem also means that more APP developers can actively adapt to AI chips in the future, have higher usage efficiency, and develop more usage scenarios. In the future, with the deployment of 5G networks, users can use AI voice and other methods. Applications within the system can interact.
Huawei has already tried its own platform, such as the Kirin 970 as a mobile computing platform to open out, to facilitate more developers to use the application of Huawei’s AI platform. This would make mobile phones to provide real-time travel guides, destination identification, provide travel assistance, and several functions based on the user’s habits. This ecology will attract more application developers to come together and provide more diverse and rich AI products for the system.