Artificial Intelligence Stories June 7, 2016

AAPL: 99.03

0.40

Google this week has published a new version of its TensorFlow machine learning software that adds support for iOS. Google initially teased that it was working on iOS support for TensorFlow last November, but said it was unable to give a timeline. An early version of TensorFlow version 0.9 was released yesterday on GitHub, however, and it brings iOS support.

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Artificial Intelligence Stories May 10, 2016

AAPL: 93.42

0.63

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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Artificial Intelligence Stories January 7, 2016

AAPL: 96.45

-4.25

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple has confirmed it has made an acquisition of artificial intelligence startup EmotientThe cloud-based technology developed by Emotient uses artificial intelligence to detect emotion by analyzing facial expressions. expand full story

Artificial Intelligence Stories November 9, 2015

AAPL: 120.57

-0.49

Siri beats out Google Now and Cortana in survey, with 81% user satisfaction rating

A survey in which Siri, Google Now and Cortana users were asked to rate their satisfaction with their respective intelligent assistants found that Siri got the highest scores, with 81% of users declaring themselves satisfied compared to 68% for Google Now and just 57% for Cortana.

Survey participants were also asked to try out seven different requests and report on how well their service performed, as well as to note how many times they were asked follow-up questions. Siri had the lowest percentage of incorrect answers, and also asked fewer follow-up questions before it was able to carry out the task or answer the question.

Siri is definitely a feature that polarises users – some (like me) extremely satisfied with it, while I know others who report getting better results with Google Now. Microsoft is allowing a small number of iOS users to try out a beta version of Cortana for the iPhone.

Siri got the highest satisfaction score for setting an appointment, and the lowest for the question ‘When does Kung Fu Panda 3 come out?’.

You can see full details at the Experts Exchange site.

Siri’s latest trick is speaking Arabic, following the Apple Store openings in the UAE.

Artificial Intelligence Stories October 30, 2015

AAPL: 119.50

-1.03

Apple’s famed obsession with secrecy in its product development process is hampering its work in the field of artificial intelligence, say academics working in the field. Bloomberg reports that AI experts believe that lack of two-way sharing of information slows development.

“Apple is off the scale in terms of secrecy,” says Richard Zemel, a professor in the computer science department at the University of Toronto. “They’re completely out of the loop.”

Apple Maps was cited as an example of what can go wrong when AI teams within Apple are cut off from other work being done in the field – and even from researchers in other teams within Apple. Worse, it is claimed, the approach makes it impossible for Apple to recruit the brightest people in the field …

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Artificial Intelligence Stories September 14, 2015

AAPL: 114.21

1.64

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.

A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.

Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be … 

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