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 Watch credited for explosive growth in wearable market

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Chances are you'll see quite a few more of these in the coming years.
Chances are you'll see quite a few more of these in the coming years.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Makers of wearable electronics need to thank the Apple Watch for the rapidly growing wearable market, itself poised to see even more stunning gains in the coming year.

“From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularizing wearables as a lifestyle trend,” said Angela McIntyre, director at research firm, Gartner.

Future spacecraft could repair its own skin

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The International Space Station occasionally has to dodge pieces of debris floating in space.
The International Space Station occasionally has to dodge pieces of debris floating in space.
Photo: NASA

To see a satellite image of the field of space debris that floats around the earth is like looking at fleas swarming an unfortunate dog. About a half-million pieces of debris are the size of a marble, but even tiny pieces that travel more than 17,000 miles per hour could be deadly to a spacecraft with astronauts.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and NASA have developed a self-healing material that could instantly plug up a hole in the hull of a ship just milliseconds after impact.

The future of video chat is totally touchy-feely

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the-future-of-video-chat-is-totally-touchy-feely-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201508haptic-touch-png
Haptic feedback is a major component in this new technology invented at the University of Tokyo.
Photo: Shinoda Lab

HaptoClone is a new creation from researchers in the Shinoda Lab at the University of Tokyo that can let you practically feel what isn’t actually in front of you. It at least gives you the illusion that you’re feeling it. The technology is trippy in theory, but in practice it very well may lead to a more personal level of communication through our smartphones and computers – or dare I say more intimate.

Apple Watch has a place at school with upcoming Penn State study

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Apple-Watch-stand-reminder
It might be like this, but with books and stuff.
Photo: Apple

Nobody’s really sure what to do with wearables like the Apple Watch, and we don’t just mean in the “How does this improve my life?” sense of it. Safety and cheating concerns are putting it on a lot of people’s ban radar, and laws are scrambling to incorporate the new tech as needed.

But some researchers at Penn State are about to see if the Apple Watch might find a home in the classroom, after all.

Flame wars: How angry memes go viral

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Need your online content to go viral? Get your opponents angry. Photo: CGP Grey/YouTube
Need your online content to go viral? Get your opponents angry. Photo: CGP Grey/YouTube

The internet is up in arms about the price of the higher-end Apple Watch models, with a grand level of snark and wit in the various Twitter rants and reaction pieces. The aggro response will most likely fade away, but if there were an equally large group of apologists, the resulting flame war might become a larger-than-life conflagration.

If you’ve ever wondered why some internet arguments go large, this video may have the answer. It turns out that the best way to get the attention of the internet is to get angry. Or, rather, angry reactions can almost guarantee the potential of an argument to go viral.

The states with the most iPhone users will surprise you

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Ericsson wants to stop Apple selling iPhones in the United States. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
How many iPhone users are in your state? Photo: Jim Merithew

Do you think your state has a lot of iPhone users? You might be surprised to learn that you’re right – if you live in Alaska, Montana, or Vermont.

This surprising result comes from a survey conducted by mobile advertising firm Chitika, who wanted to quantify the level of iPhone usage on a state-by-state basis.

While the data doesn’t show much correlation with geographic or raw population figures, the survey did figure out that the three states had the highest percentage of iPhone users, with 65, 60 and 59 percent respectively.

Apple Spends Just 2% Of Its Revenue On R&D

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Collaboration

Despite a budgetary increase of 32% from $3.381 billion in 2012 to $4.475 billion in 2013, Apple still spends less than 3% of its revenue (net sales total $170.91 billion so far this year) on Research & Development of new products: something that will surely give ammunition to those skeptics who claim less innovation is taking place under Tim Cook’s command than it ever did while Steve Jobs was at Apple’s helm.

Right?