W3C Publishes Working Draft For Web Neural Network API

Written by Michael Larabel in Standards on 22 June 2021 at 05:27 AM EDT. 5 Comments
The latest JavaScript API to see a public working draft out of the W3C is for a Web Neural Network API.

The W3C and their stakeholders have been developing the Web Neural Network API as a means of allowing neural network inference hardware acceleration from the browser. This follows the W3C launching a web machine learning working group earlier in the year. Google and Microsoft have been among the companies involved with this working group in looking to be able to exploit dedicated machine learning hardware accelerators and native instructions from within web browsers.

The "WebNN" has been designed with use-cases in mind like person detection, face recognition, super resolution, image captioning, emotion analysis, noise suppression, and more.

For those concerned about arbitrary websites being able to take advantage of machine learning hardware, the security considerations for this new API include making it disabled by default in all cross-origin frames and ties into security found for WebGPU and WebGL.

The first public working draft of the Web Neural Network API can be found at W3.org.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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