Categories: Technology
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2023-12-07 9:54 AM

Apple Unleashes AI: MLX Frameworks Break Tradition, Paving the Way for Cutting-Edge Generative Applications on MacBooks

  • Apple released MLX, a machine learning framework for efficient AI model training on Apple Silicon chips.
  • Inspired by PyTorch and Jax, MLX boasts shared memory, allowing seamless task execution on supported devices.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

In a surprising move, tech giant Apple has unveiled its strides into the world of generative artificial intelligence (AI), challenging its conservative reputation in the AI space. The company quietly released MLX, a machine learning framework, and MLX Data, a deep learning model library, both tailored to efficiently run on Apple Silicon chips, potentially paving the way for generative AI applications on MacBooks.

MLX: An Open-Source Machine Learning Framework

Inspired by frameworks like PyTorch, Jax, and ArrayFire, MLX introduces a shared memory system. This innovative approach allows tasks to seamlessly execute on supported devices, including CPUs and GPUs, without the cumbersome process of moving data. Awni Hannun, a machine learning researcher at Apple, mentioned on Twitter that MLX is designed to be user-friendly for developers while possessing the power to train advanced AI models, such as Meta’s Llama and Stable Diffusion.

MLX Data: Framework Agnostic, Efficient, and Flexible Data Loading

Accompanying MLX is MLX Data, a deep learning model library described as “framework agnostic, efficient, and flexible” for data loading. Compatible with MLX, PyTorch, or Jax frameworks, MLX Data aims to streamline the data loading process, providing developers with a versatile tool to enhance their generative AI applications.

Apple’s Shift Towards Generative AI

This move marks a significant departure from Apple’s previous focus on machine learning, with a deliberate avoidance of the term “AI” in many of its presentations. While the company has embedded machine learning technologies into its products for years, it had not actively pursued popular generative AI applications, a field where competitors like Microsoft and Google have been more visibly engaged.

In September, reports emerged that Apple had initiated work on foundational models, exploring possibilities for their implementation across various services. This indicated a strategic shift towards a broader range of AI applications, aligning Apple more closely with industry trends.

Developers’ Perspective: User-Friendly Yet Powerful

According to Apple, MLX is not only designed for power but also for user-friendliness. Developers can leverage this framework to build and run AI models efficiently on Apple Silicon. The shared memory system simplifies the process, making it accessible for a broader developer base. The ease of use is further emphasized by MLX Data, which offers a framework-agnostic solution for efficient and flexible data loading.

Industry Watchers Await More Details

While Apple’s foray into generative AI is a notable development, industry watchers are eager for more details on how these frameworks will shape the company’s future in the AI landscape. The Verge has reached out to Apple for additional information, and the tech community awaits further insights into the company’s vision for AI applications on its devices.

As the tech giant continues to reveal more about MLX and MLX Data through open-source repositories like GitHub and PyPI, the South African tech community remains on the lookout for potential applications and innovations that could emerge from Apple’s latest venture into generative AI.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo