Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s

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Siri
Siri had first been predicted by Apple back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the new iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of AI in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. The company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.

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.

Apple co-founder Woz will talk tech’s future at free event

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Woz: I don’t think true self-driving cars will arrive in my lifetime
Steve Wozniak played a major role in Apple history.
Photo: Nichollas Harrison/Wikimedia Commons CC

Want to hear Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talk about his career and the future of tech? As part of Purdue University’s Ideas Festival, Woz is headed to West Lafayette, Indiana, later this month.

Wozniak will join Purdue Engineering Dean Mung Chiang to discuss the early days of Apple, and Woz’s vision for the future of technology. The event is free to attend, but you’ll need to book tickets ahead of time.

Apple takes on Lighthouse team after acquiring security patents

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Lighthouse
Is Apple planning to make cameras of its own?
Photo: Lighthouse

Around 20 members of the Lighthouse team are now working at Apple, according to a new report.

The hires, which include two company co-founders, come after Apple acquired a bunch of Lighthouse’s home security patents earlier this month. An email sent to customers this week requested permission to transfer security camera data with Apple.

Apple acquires AI startup with a focus on privacy

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Silk Labs
Silk Labs' privacy policy reads like it was written by Tim Cook.
Photo: Silk Labs

Apple has reportedly acquired an artificial intelligence startup that specializes in on-device machine learning software.

Silk Labs’ technology processes data without sending it to the cloud, which is a perfect fit for Apple’s privacy-conscious approach to AI. It’s not clear how much Cupertino paid for the company when the deal was struck earlier this year.

New A12 Bionic chip makes 2018 iPhones into AI powerhouses

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A12 processor
The Neural Engine gives the iPhone a super smart brain.
Photo: Apple

Apple called the new iPhones‘ A12 Bionic chip “the smartest and most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.” And despite the company’s occasional hyperbole and frequent marketing wizardry, it’s not kidding around.

Here’s why the A12 is so exciting — and what that means for Apple’s Core ML machine learning platform.

Siri’s last remaining co-founder retires from Apple

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HomePod siri
The last of the three Siri co-founders who brought the AI assistant to Apple has quit.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Tom Gruber, the last Siri co-founder to have been employed at Apple, has left the company. Gruber was previously head of Siri’s Advanced Development group, but has now retired to focus on his interests in photography and ocean conservation.

His fellow Siri co-creators Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer left Apple a long time ago. They created Siri as an independent app before selling it to Apple in 2010.

Ex-Google AI expert will fix Siri’s serious flaws

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Meet Siri's new boss, John Giannandrea.
Siri's new boss, John Giannandrea, has the job of making this voice assistant less terrible.
Photo: Apple

Craig Federighi is no longer in charge of Siri. Responsibility for Apple’s troubled voice assistant has been given to John Giannandrea, who is now in charge of all Apple’s artificial intelligence efforts.

Siri is seen as poor competition for Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Assistant. Its weakness is hurting sales of Apple products, including the HomePod.

Get in on the AI gold rush with these essential skills [Deals]

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This massively discounted lesson bundle offers a great primer on the lucrative fields of machine learning and AI.
This massively discounted lesson bundle offers a great primer on the lucrative fields of machine learning and AI.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The artificial intelligence industry is exploding. Machines might be coming to take our jobs, but working in AI is also one of the most lucrative gigs you can get, with salaries that reach into the 6 figures. But before you get in on AI, there’s a lot to learn.