Meet the robot that will assemble your future iPhones – and everything else

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Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.
Legos and pre-school toys today, your iPhone tomorrow.
Photo: UC Berkeley Robot Learning Lab

UC Berkley researchers have hit a major milestone in the creation of usable AI. They’ve created a new set of algorithms that will allow robots to learn through trial and error — much like humans learn new tasks.

With this kind of educated automaton, there’s nothing they won’t be able to do. Think of mechanical beings assembling your next iPhone, building skyscrapers, or exploring Mars.

Is this where we see the first inklings of the robot apocalypse?

IBM’s Jeopardy!-winning A.I. will revolutionize Apple health data

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A lot has changed since Steve Jobs flipped off IBM 30 years ago. Photo: Andy Hertzfield
A lot has changed since Steve Jobs flipped off IBM 30 years ago. Photo: Andy Hertzfeld

IBM has announced a new alliance with Apple (among other companies) to utilize its acclaimed Watson artificial intelligence system to provide personalized insights regarding health data.

For those who don’t remember, Watson was the IBM A.I. which famously defeated two former winners on the gameshow Jeopardy! in 2011 to receive the first place prize of $1 million.

By linking up with Watson, Apple not only solidifies its existing relationship with IBM, but also gains a very powerful ally in its quest to revolutionize the way we think about mobile health with the Apple Watch and iOS 8 Health app.

Woz: ‘The future is scary and very bad for people’

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Woz, doing his part to help computers takeover the world. Photo: Apple
Woz, doing his part to help computers takeover the world. Photo: Apple

Tech pioneers like Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk have warned humanity of the dangers of AI for years, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he’s finally a beliver in the doomsday scenarios.

“Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” Woz told the Australian Financial Review in a recent interview from his US home.

The man who sparked the personal computer revolution with the invention of the Apple II says ‘the future is scary and very bad for people’ because computers will eventually get faster than us and wipe us out.

Get a glimpse of The Vision in new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer

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Ultron is up to no good in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Photo: Marvel Studios
Ultron is up to no good in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Photo: Marvel Studios

There’s plenty of carnage and goofy talk about artificial intelligence in the new for Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. But, just like any Marvel Studios movie, you’ll want to stay till the end: That’s when you’ll get your first peek at The Vision, the android that eventually becomes an Avenger.

Meet Kasisto, Siri’s business-minded older brother

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Siri couldn't be more excited about the Apple Watch. Photo: Apple
Siri couldn't be more excited about the Apple Watch. Photo: Apple

Siri’s starting work — or at least something like that. SRI International, the brains behind the Siri standalone app bought by Apple back in 2010, has announced the creation of Kasisto, a business version of Apple’s virtual assistant.

Kasisto will enable companies to integrate their own branded Siri-style assistants within apps, providing a way of letting helping consumers navigate complex tasks through a conversational Artificial Intelligence program. While SRI International has yet to release many details, this means that it should be possible to harness the regular Siri interactions for more specialized tasks within apps, allowing specific businesses to “train” their own version of Siri to become an expert in a variety of areas, from medical advice to, say, movie rentals.