Latest AI acquisition shows Apple isn’t sacrificing privacy for machine smarts

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Latest AI acquisition shows Apple isn’t sacrificing privacy for machine smarts
Apple is embracing machine intelligence, without losing sight of the human factor.
Photo: Universal

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), Apple wants to have its cake and eat it, too. That is to say that it wants cutting edge data-driven machine learning on its devices, without violating its own user privacy pledge.

And you know what? It’s managing to pull it off — as the company’s latest AI startup acquisition underlines.

Apple acquires Xnor.ai for faster, more private iPhone artificial intelligence

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Xnor.ai promises AI everywhere.
Xnor.ai’s artificial intelligence software for mobile devices is likely headed for iPhones.
Photo: Xnor.ai

Apple purchased Xnor.ai, a company that creates artificial intelligence software for mobile devices. The acquisition will apparently lead to AI applications running directly on iPhones, iPads, etc., not outsourced to the cloud. This should make these tasks more private and quicker.

Apple’s secret AI sauce gets a new ingredient

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Apple's secret AI sauce gets a new ingredient
Apple’s special AI creates smarter devices without sharing your data.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Today’s machine learning AI technologies frequently rely on the free flow of user data. That puts Apple in a tough spot.

While it wants to stay on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence, it doesn’t want to do anything to get in the way of its privacy-first approach to technology. Fortunately, there’s a way around that issue.

Siri’s former boss has jumped ship to Microsoft

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HomePod siri
"Siri, why is my former boss using Windows?"
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Microsoft has snapped up the former Siri boss, who left Apple earlier in May 2019.

Bill Stasior joined Apple in 2012, taking over control of the Siri team not long after it made its debut with the iPhone 4s. In his job at Microsoft, Stasior will be corporate vice president of technology.

Is viral FaceApp stealing your photos? Not all of them

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FaceApp
FaceApp uses AI to deliver impressive photo effects.
Photo: FaceApp

Impressive artificial intelligence that delivers some of the most convincing facial effects has made FaceApp incredibly popular in recent weeks. But there’s some concern over what happens to your photos when you use it.

The good news is FaceApp won’t steal your entire photo library. However, some of your images will end up on its servers.

Instagram will hold an intervention with your bully

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a same of how Instagram's Restrict tool will work
Instagram adds more tough tools to fight bullying.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram is adding more muscle to fight bullying, including one tool that appeals to a harasser’s conscious.

Instagram has been addressing online harassment over the last couple of years with options to block followers and report offensive items. But for the first time, artificial intelligence will hold an intervention with a would-be bully.

Apple hires top Drive.ai talent as self-driving startup shuts down

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Drive.ai self-driving car
Drive.ai is dead.
Photo: Drive.ai

Self-driving car startup Drive.ai is reportedly shutting down — and Apple is scooping up the talent.

Drive.ai, which made kits that turn regular cars into self-driving cars, notified the Employment Development Department of California that it was shutting down and laying off all 90 of its employees. Apple was reportedly looking into acquiring the company earlier this month. Instead, Cupertino decided to just hire some of its key employees.

Google takes aim at enterprise with new $999 Glass headset

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Google
Say hello to Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2.
Photo: Google

Google Glass is officially moving out of Alphabet’s “moon shot factory” to become an official Google product.

The search engine giant revealed its new Glass Enterprise Edition 2 spectacles today only instead of trying to reach mass appeal with consumers, Google is focused solely on making Glass great for businesses.