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Global tech giants make inroads into on-device AI smartphones

Global tech giants are tapping deeper into so-called on-device artificial intelligence smartphones, which have dedicated application processors that enable machines to act more like human beings, industry watchers said Wednesday.

US tech giant Apple Inc.'s iPhone X and Chinese Huawei Technologies Co.'s Mate 10, showcased recently, both claim to be equipped with a neural engine and processing unit for AI features, respectively.

While the industry has yet to create a concrete definition for such features, it is widely accepted as an engine capable of handling the vast scopes of data related to AI and Internet of Things services.


Industry watchers said algorithms behind such engines resemble human brains. Compared to a central processing unit, it is capable of processing more tasks simultaneously.

Such on-device AI smartphones are also capable of processing data faster using less power than voice recognition programs such as Apple's Siri, as the tasks can be handled without having to be constantly connected to a server.

"Machine learning for the precise recognition of objects, voice, and video is the key feature of AI smartphones," said Kim Dong-won, a researcher at KB Securities Co., saying the global market for handsets will be divided into "AI" and "non-AI" segments in the future.

Samsung Electronics Co. said while it is currently developing on-device AI features, whether it will be reflected in the presumed Galaxy S9 slated for release next year has not yet been decided.