Google introduces Neural Networks API in developer preview of Android 8.1

Today, Google is starting to seed a new developer beta (8.1) of Android Oreo to devs.

The big highlight here is the new Neural Networks API, which brings hardware-accelerated inference to the phone for quickly executing previously trained machine learning models. Bringing these calculations to the edge can bring a lot of utility to the end user by reducing latency and load on the network, while also keeping more sensitive data on-device.

This can come in handy when it comes to allowing the apps on your phone to do things like classify images or learn from how your habits predict behavior. Google said they designed the Neural Networks API as a “foundational layer” for frameworks like TensorFlow Lite, Caffe2 and others.

If available, the API can make use of special AI chips on…

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