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Google and Apple both use custom AI hardware (Pixel Visual Core and the A12 Bionic's Neural Engine) in their phones, Tesla has unveiled its own processor to handle self-driving features and Amazon is reportedly working on a chip to help Alexa processing work offline. These “neural processing units” have had a lot of hype, but being able to handle complex tasks without a cloud connection could come in handy.
Similarly, the LG Neural Engine is intended to process image and voice data even when it's not connected to the cloud. That means a device with the chip could recognize its environment and adjust settings accordingly, navigate through a place it hasn't been before and understand a user's commands in natural language — all offline. LG also claims powerful security is built in — with all the data it takes in, resisting hackers who could remotely control a unit or use your washing machine's sensors to violate your privacy would an unwanted outcome.
The Korean company has been investing heavily in AI, most recently opening a new research lab in Toronto to follow its other North American location in Silicon Valley, so while this may be a first, it's definitely not the last thing we'll hear about LG and AI.