Apple’s upcoming Japan R&D center will work on AI and related products

Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company's upcoming research and development base in Yokohama, Japan will develop artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. Cook described it as a center for "deep engineering." He said it will be "very different" from the R&D base Apple plans to build in China.

"I cannot tell you the specifics," he told the Nikkei Asian Review. "The specific work is very different." 

Apple-Japan flag.jpg

Cook saidApple intends to capitalize on AI in various ways, in cooperation with Japanese companies. AI is "horizontal in nature, running across all products" and is used "in ways that most people don't even think about.”

"We want the AI to increase your battery life" and recommend music to Apple Music subscribers, he continued. As another example, he said AI could "help you remember where you parked your car.”

In addition to Siri, its “personal assistant,” Apple has been investing heavily into companies that could bolster its AI efforts. In August, the Cupertino, California-based company bought Turi, a "machine learning platform for developers and data scientists.” 

Last October the company bought Perceptio, a startup developing technology to let companies run advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems on smartphones without needing to share as much user data. 

Also last year, Apple acquired VocalIQ, a UK startup that’s developed a natural language application programming interface [API] that allows humans and machines to have a much more natural conversation. And in January, our favorite tech company bought Emollient, a a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.