Forget replacing humans, Apple wants AI to improve our memory

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It's not as easy as you might think.
Siri may soon remember every detail of your life.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If Apple has its way in the field of artificial intelligence, robots and algorithms won’t just be used to replace you at work, they could help fix your brain too.

Apple executive and Siri co-creator, Tom Gruber, laid out a different vision for artificial intelligence today while speaking at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada. During his remarks, Gruber told the crowd how he thinks AI could become more helpful than harmful.

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Apple hires top medical researcher to boost health game

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Stephen Friend is the latest medical guru to join Apple.
Stephen Friend is the latest medical guru to join Apple.
Photo: TED

One of the biggest names in medical research has joined Apple and will likely provide a huge boost to the company’s medical efforts.

Stephen Friend, co-founder and former president of Sage Bionetworks, accepted a job at Apple recently, and although the two sides are keeping quiet on what exactly Friend will be doing, he’ll likely be one of the leaders of the company’s growing digital health team.

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The fitness apps that gave me six-pack abs

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iMuscle's anatomical models look a bit leaner than I had in mind.
iMuscle's anatomical models look a bit leaner than I had in mind.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I saw my six pack for the first time at the age of 40. Prior to that, my abs had been hidden behind a thick layer of fat that I’d built up over years of living a sedentary geek lifestyle. The only exercise I got was racing to be first in line at the Apple Store for a product launch.

Then one day, a doctor told me I had cancer and my whole world changed. There’s nothing like a brush with death to make you take your health more seriously. Suddenly, I wanted to get fit, but true to my geek heritage, I would do it using my iPhone. Abs? There must be an app for that.

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Cancer-detecting apps diagnosed with terminal case of bullshit

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You still need to see a doctor to detect cancer. Photo: Christiana Care/Flickr
You still need to see a doctor to detect cancer. Photo: Christiana Care/Flickr

Want to know if that nasty mole on your shoulder is cancerous? There’s an app for that!

Errr… Actually, no. No, there’s not.

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that apps like Mole Detective and Mel App that are marketed as ways for iPhone users to snap pictures of moles to determine if they’re cancerous aren’t based on actual real-world science.

The two app makers reached a settlement with the FTC after the feds alleged that the apps lacked adequate evidence to support claims that they could calculate your mole’s melanoma risk as low, medium, or high without ever visiting a doctors office.

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Can These iMacs Cure Cancer? [Exclusive]

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dataseamgrid_imac

In the quiet foothills of Kentucky, a massive supercomputer is churning through data. It is hunting for new drugs to fight cancer.

Every week, the DataseamGrid processes 300 man-years worth of calculations. Yeah, that’s 300 years of calculations every week. Drug discovery usually takes 10 to 15 years, but the DataseamGrid blazes through that work in a fraction of the usual time. It is one of the largest pipelines of potential new cancer drugs in the country. Researchers here are about to start human trials this year of a new drug discovered by the supercomputer, which, if successful, may lead to an entirely new class of cancer drugs.

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Prolific Teenage Dev Releases Jailbreak Tweak To Help Fund Cancer Research

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Jailbreak development for a good cause.
Jailbreak development for a good cause.

Filippo Bigarella is a prolific and respected developer in the jailbreak community. The Italian teenager has released no less than 20 jailbreak tweaks and hacks in Cydia, the jailbreak alternative to the App Store. His work (e.g., Springtomize) has appeared numerous times on sites such as this one. To put it simply, he makes some of the best jailbreak tweaks there are. He’s also a full-time student.

Bigarella has released yet another jailbreak tweak that animates the iPhone’s app icons. The tweak itself is pretty simple, but the reason behind its release is special: funding pediatric cancer research.

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Take 23 Nude Pictures Of Yourself And This iPhone App Will Tell You If You Have Cancer

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Taking DIY to a new level.
Taking DIY to a new level.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 2 million new diagnoses of skin cancer in the U.S. alone this year, including nearly 80,000 cases of melanoma. Besides the obvious practice of routine checkups, those known to be a bit more preemptive have taken to whole body photography as a means to spot cancerous activity before it’s too late.

An iPhone app called UMSkinCheck is meant to be an easy way to check for skin cancer without the need of a trained professional. All you need to do is have someone use your iPhone to take 23 pictures of yourself completely nude.

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Could Apple Help Cure Cancer in Corporate America?

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ipad-patient

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been invited to participate in a roundtable discussion at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) annual conference on clinical practice guidelines and quality cancer care. The topic of the discussion is Cancer and Corporate America: Business As Usual. At the moment it isn’t clear if Cook will attend (NCCN lists both speakers that have confirmed their attendance as well as those that have not).

The invitation raises some questions about why the organization chose to invite Cook. One obvious answer centers around the role that Cook played in managing Apple while Steve Jobs was fighting the pancreatic cancer that eventually led to his death last year. While that is certainly plausible, there could be other reasons behind NCCN’s invitation.

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We Could All Learn From Steve Jobs’ Example [Opinion from a Cancer Survivor]

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Steve Jobs

For people like me, and the other 28 million living with cancer, people like Steve Jobs are incredible role models. When I was undergoing chemotherapy three years ago, I was often tempted to think “why me?” But then I asked myself, “Why Steve Jobs? Why Lance Armstrong?” And I reflected on the remarkable things that they went on to achieve after their treatment. Their inspirational example helped me more than I can say.

Steve Jobs chooses not to talk about his cancer. He prefers to focus on his work. We should respect his choice.

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