Apple invests $1 billion in world’s biggest tech fund

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tim cook in a car
Apple invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing last year.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

Apple confirmed today that is getting into the venture capital game by investing in one of the world’s largest tech funds.

SoftBank’s new Vision Fund received $1 billion from Apple, according to a company spokesperson that revealed the company is investing in the $100 billion fund to gain access to future technology.

Apple offers first glimpse at its secretive AI work

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photos in ios 10
iOS 10's Photos app can automatically recognize content in images.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Researchers on Apple’s artificial intelligence team have published the first ever research paper ever from the iPhone-maker, ending Apple’s long standing ban that safeguarded company secrets.

The paper details methods on how to train AI algorithms to recognize images. Apple’s researchers reveal that they have tried using both computer-generated images as well as real-world images to train to algorithm, but each have serious drawbacks.

Apple is finally ready to spill some of its AI secrets

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Apple is opening up about its AI work.
Photo: Hardmaru/Twitter

In a break from its ultra-secretive attitude toward R&D, Apple is set to start engaging more with the AI academic community by allowing its researchers to publish their work in machine learning journals.

The news was announced by Russ Salakhutd, director of AI research at Apple and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. He made the announcement at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference earlier today.

iPhone camera is the key to Apple’s AR future

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iPhone 7 iSight camera
The iPhone's camera will be an AR portal.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A secret team of Apple employees are working on a project that will turn iPhone cameras everywhere into a portal for augmented reality.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he’s bullish on the future of AR, and according to a new report the company is working on a total game changer.

How to take better photos and build an Instagram following, this week on The CultCast

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Instagram photography tips
Better Instagram photography awaits you on The CultCast.
Photo: The Gilashark/Instagram

This week on The CultCast: Learn Instagram tips, tricks and techniques to take beautiful iPhone photos and build a massive following. Plus: The crazy exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga ends with a strange twist; rumors point to Macs with radically new e-ink keyboards; and an honest look at Siri versus the AI competition.

This episode is supported by CultCloth, the best way to keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean. Check them out at CultCloth.co and for a limited time save 20 percent with code JetBlack.

Revamped iPads and next-era Apple tech, this week on The CultCast

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Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Apple's bold vision of future tech inches closer to reality.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Revamped iPads coming this spring; Apple lays the groundwork for the next era of personal technology; how smart homes get hacked; Google’s Pixel phone versus iPhone 7; and we reveal our favorite new iOS and Mac apps!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to build a website that looks beautiful on any device that visits at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off.

The future is AI, and Google just showed Apple how it’s done

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Under CEO Sundar Pichai, Google is betting big on AI.
Under CEO Sundar Pichai, Google is betting big on AI.
Photo: Google

After decades of showing us the best ways to interact with computers, Apple is lagging on the UI of the future — voice controls powered by smart, conversational AI.

Google, on the other hand, is placing artificial intelligence, in the form of Google Assistant, at the center of its new Pixel smartphones and Google Home smart speaker.

Cupertino’s mastery of the user interface is legendary: Macs, iPods and iPhones made the GUI, the mouse, the scroll wheel and multitouch mainstream. But Apple needs to get into the AI conversation if it’s serious about securing a place in our gabby future.

Today in Apple history: Siri makes its public debut on iPhone 4s

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Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri had first been predicted by Apple back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Sept4 October 4, 2011: With the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri, a groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action.

Siri’s debut represents the culmination of a long-term dream at Apple, an accomplishment predicted in the 1980s and fulfilled almost down to the exact month.