AI Stories March 25

Once in a while, Apple announces the acquisition of another company or startup, but now, new research from GlobalData shows that Apple is in fact investing heavily in artificial intelligence. The research reveals that Apple has acquired more AI companies than anyone else between 2016 and 2020.

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AI Stories March 20, 2018

Apple and IBM have announced an exciting expansion of the partnership started back in 2014 to bring enterprise apps to iOS devices. The latest step is designed to combine IBM’s powerful Watson AI system with Apple’s Core ML framework to create the smartest mobile apps yet developed.

The companies said that Coca-Cola is currently testing the setup …

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AI Stories November 28, 2017

If you’ve ever used Photoshop to select a person in order to place them on a different background, you’ll know what a fiddly and time-consuming process it can be. Adobe has announced an upcoming feature to allow you to get most of the job done with a single click …

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AI Stories November 27, 2017

We’re expecting a major revamp of the Snapchat app to land early next month, but it seems the company isn’t holding back everything until then. It’s been quietly rolling out a feature that recognises (some of) the content in your photos, and suggests relevant borders and filters …

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AI Stories October 25, 2017

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) — of which Apple is a member — today has shared a new document outlining AI Policy Principles for the tech industry, the government, and public-private partnerships, as well as projecting how valuable AI could become in the near future.

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AI Stories October 23, 2017

Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams attended the 30th anniversary celebrations of A-series chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and took the opportunity to say a few words about the importance of AI in general – and the phone as an AI tool in particular.

I think we’re at an inflection point, with on-device computing, coupled with the potential of AI, to really change the world.

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AI Stories September 21, 2017

An augmented reality Sudoku-solving app that only works with completely empty puzzles might be kind of pointless, but it definitely serves as an impressive demonstration of just what can be done when you use the combined power of three Apple frameworks.

Magic Sudoku uses Apple’s image analysis software Vision to read the puzzles, the Core ML framework to solve them and ARKit to present the solution as an overlay on the puzzle itself …

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AI Stories September 18, 2017

Huawei pokes fun at Face ID demo glitch, claims Mate 10 will be ‘the real AI phone’ [Video]

A new Facebook video posted by Chinese Android manufacturer Huawei takes a very unsubtle swipe at the glitch in Apple’s demonstration of Face ID on the new iPhone X

AI Stories August 21, 2017

Apple’s AI expert, Tom Gruber, delivered a TED talk back in April extolling the benefits that AI may provide for us in the years to come. The video of the onstage presentation has now been released and gives us a better glimpse into the future Gruber imagines. His presentation focuses on what he calls “humanistic AI”, the belief that when machines get smarter, so will we.

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AI Stories August 8, 2017

A bot can use your Instagram feed to tell whether you’re clinically depressed

It seems there’s not much AI can’t do these days. Whether it’s drive a car, improve music discovery, retouch photos or narrate the world to blind people. And now machine learning can even look through your Instagram feed to decide whether you are clinically depressed …

AI Stories July 12, 2017

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Arthur C Clarke once said that any sufficiently advanced technology was indistinguishable from magic, and Microsoft’s Seeing AI app gets pretty close to qualifying. It’s an app designed to ‘narrate the world’ to people who are blind or visually impaired, and the video demo (below) shows off some incredibly impressive capabilities.

It can, for example, recognize friends, guess the emotions of people from their facial expressions, read text, identify bank notes, identify products from their bar-codes, and even recognize images in apps like Twitter …

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AI Stories June 9, 2017

Apple’s machine-learning framework has trouble recognizing a 1st-gen Mac Pro … [Video]

One of the most interesting things Apple announced at WWDC was a new framework designed to allow developers to embed machine learning capabilities into their apps. One of the things Core ML can be trained to do is identify and caption real-world objects in real-time, which Apple demos via a sample app trained with 1000 objects …

AI Stories April 25, 2017

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Tom Gruber, AI expert at Apple, delivered a talk at TED 2017 today to share his thoughts on the future power of computing. According to Axios, Tom Gruber declared that computing should be “used to augment human failings, such as memory.”

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AI Stories March 30, 2017

Adobe shows off stunning AI retouching tool likely destined for a future version of Photoshop/Lightroom

Retouchers can transform the most mundane of photos into truly stunning ones – but it takes a great deal of skill and time. A joint Adobe-Cornell collaboration has just demonstrated that fully-automated AI systems can do the same thing, suggesting a tool that is likely to make it into a future version of Photoshop or Lightroom at some point.

AI Stories February 23, 2017

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Apple is known for its secrecy when it comes to ongoing product development, but the company is operating a little different with its efforts around artificial intelligence and machine learning. Apple’s director of machine learning, Carlos Guestrin, openly discussed Apple’s plans to grow its engineering presence in Seattle in a new GeekWire interview.

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AI Stories January 26, 2017

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Upate: Partnership on AI has now confirmed that Apple has joined.

A tech industry body established to agree best practice in the use of artificial intelligence had one notable omission in the impressive list of member companies. IBM, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon all signed up, but Apple didn’t.

The Partnership on AI was formed in September, with part of its brief to make recommendations in the areas of ethics, fairness, inclusivity, privacy and trustworthiness – all values you might expect Apple to fully endorse. But while the company didn’t sign up at the time, it appears this is about to change …

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AI Stories January 10, 2017

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Daniel Gross, a Director at Apple, is leaving the company to join venture capital firm Y Combinator as a partner, according to TechCrunch. Gross first joined Apple three years ago when Cue, an artificial intelligence startup he co-founded, was bought up by Apple.

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AI Stories December 26, 2016

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The usually secretive Apple recently signaled that it would begin publishing artificial intelligence research, and now it appears that the first example of this has appeared online.

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AI Stories December 7, 2016

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Earlier this week Apple’s director of AI research Russ Salakhutdinov made an appearance at a machine-learning conference to announce that Apple will allow its researchers to freely publish their findings, a rare move for the normally secretive company. Today a new report from Quartz offers more details from Apple’s talk at the NIPS 2016 conference, including slides that detail AI research related to “volumetric detection of LiDAR” and “prediction of structured outputs” next to visuals of vehicles and more.

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AI Stories December 6, 2016

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Apple’s director of AI research Russ Salakhutdinov has announced at a conference that the company’s machine-learning researchers will be free to publish their findings. This is an apparent reversal of Apple’s previous position.

It was suggested in October that Apple’s extreme secrecy was harming its prospects in AI …

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AI Stories October 17, 2016

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One of the areas where Apple has seemingly fallen behind its competition — or, more likely, not yet ready to disclose its technology’s full potential — is artificial intelligence. However, there’s no denying that the company is pushing hard towards bettering its existing products (like Siri) behind closed doors, and the latest AI hire is but another proof of such commitment…

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Tim Cook has told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company hopes that Apple Pay will help to bring about a cashless society. The statement was made a month before the iPhone 7 becomes the first iPhone to support FeliCa, the contactless payment standard used in Japan.

We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system. We don’t think the consumer particularly likes cash.

Cook also spoke rather mysteriously about the work that will be performed by the R&D center the company is building in Yokohama, expected to open in March …

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AI Stories May 25, 2016

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The South China Morning Post reports that iPhone maker Foxconn has replaced more than half of its workforce with robots since the launch of the iPhone 6. The figures were provided by the local government in Kunshan, where the company is based.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” said the department’s head Xu Yulian … 

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AI Stories May 10, 2016

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As long-time readers will know, I’ve long been a fan of Siri. As I’ve often noted, it’s my primary means of interacting with my iPhone (part of the reason I don’t need a larger screen). I dictate most of my messages, and if it’s possible to ask Siri to do something for me rather than doing it myself, I do.

But Siri does have one major failing: it has no access to third-party apps. There are countless apps where I’d love to be able to get Siri to do the heavy lifting, as I wrote last year in a Feature Request:

What I can’t yet do is ask the time of my next train home, despite having an app on my phone that can answer that question. I can’t ask it to show me today’s Timehop, nor can I ask it to post that to Facebook. I can’t ask it to post something to a Hipchat or Slack chatroom. I can’t ask it to call an Uber car. I can’t ask it to translate ‘Where is the nearest pharmacy’ into Mandarin. I could name many other examples, but you get the idea.

If Apple offered an API to allow third-party developers to take advantage of Siri, I’m confident that many would do so. And I’m certainly not alone in wanting that – in our poll, 95% of you agreed with me.

But it turns out that Siri’s original developers wanted to take things a step further …

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