Apple’s A.I. hub in Seattle is about to get a lot bigger

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Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri needs better machine learning skills.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to deepen its roots in Microsoft’s backyard by expanding operations at its Seattle center that specializes in AI and machine learning technology.

Details about the new Seattle hub were shared by Apple in a recent interview that also announced the iPhone-maker has created a $1 million endowed professorship in artificial intelligence at the University of Washington.

Apple may join Amazon, Google and Facebook in AI partnership group

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Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 13.07.45
Apple is embracing artificial intelligence for the first time in years.
Photo: Partnership on AI

Apple is reportedly set to join an artificial intelligence research group, Partnership on AI, which also includes Amazon, Alphabet, Google, Facebook and Microsoft among its members.

Apple being admitted into the group could be announced as early as this week, claim sources familiar with the story.

Apple’s next iPhone may come with enhanced Siri

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Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Siri may be set to get a serious upgrade when Apple launches its next iPhone later this year.

According to the latest rumor out of Asia, Apple is planning to catch up with the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant by creating a better version of Siri that comes with more artificial intelligence skills.

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.