Android Neural Networks API

Android 8.1 will have an API for creating neural networks. Android 8.1 is available as a preview for developers. A sample app is availabe in the android ndk samples.
The API will make use of AI chips that will be available in Android phones, although I don’t know if it’ll work with the chips that are currently built in phones like the Samsung Mate 10.
The API works as a runtime for neural networks: it does inferences on a neural network that you built using TensorFlow or another learning tool.

Dedicated AI chips are important for the progress of AI. Currently, NN’s are using node networks that are simulated on powerful CPUs or GPUs. That means, however smart the structure of the NN is and however many nodes can work simultaneously, they still go through a Von Neumann bottleneck in your processor. There is a sub class of dedicated AI chips that does not simulate a node network on a conventional processor, but rather, reflects the structure of a neural network in the hardware. I expect truly powerful AIs to become available only when NN chips (“NPUs”) are available with this architecture.

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