IBM and Apple combine their AI powers to make apps smarter

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IBM
Apple and IBM are working together to make artificial intelligence apps more impressive.
Photo: Apple

Apple has been ramping up its interest in artificial intelligence for the past few years — and its continuing business-focused partnership with IBM is going to help.

Late Monday, one-time rivals Apple and IBM announced that business apps running on Apple devices will soon be able to take advantage of the ability to combine IBM Watson technology with Apple Core ML to create more intelligent apps.

New IBM Garages mean more iOS apps for enterprise

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IBM
IBM is helping Apple push iOS devices into enterprise.
Photo: Apple

IBM is expanding its efforts to be the go-to company for mobile enterprise software by opening up new Garages that will serve as hubs for the quick design and deployment of MobileFirst apps.

Apple and IBM created the MobileFirst partnership three years ago as a way to push iPhone and iPads into the enterprise markets by coupling them with software built by IBM. With the expansion of new Garages, more international business will have access to the companies’ business tools.

Apple Watch tops holiday list for IBM’s Watson

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iBM Watson
IBM's supercomputer Watson isn't just good at Jeopardy.
Photo: IBM

If you’ve watched any YouTube videos lately, you might have learned that IBM’s Watson supercomputer is a big fan of Bob Dylan, even though the deep-learning machine can’t carry a tune. But we can also add the Apple Watch to Watson’s list of likes, as the wearable has topped the think-bot’s list of items trending this holiday.

These results come from a brand-new, free app that collects and analyzes customer sentiment from across the Internet.

Don’t Forget Jeopardy! Tonight: See Future iPhone Tech In Action

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At the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported an intriguiging detail about the upcoming iPhone nano: the new iPhone would feature “voice-based navigation.” (It will also be streaming-only, according to our report).

Could this be true system-wide voice control, as programming legend Bill Atkinson predicted at Macworld?

As we previously reported, Atkinson said it’s clear that iPhones would one day be controlled by voice, but he predicted the development to be several years away — two to ten years, he said.

But Atkinson reminded us we can get a sneak peek at the technology if we tune into Jeopardy! tonight. The history-making show features IBM’s DeepQA Project Watson supercomputer versus previous champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

It’s likely to be a first public demonstration of the kind of natural-language and real-world knowledge technology to make it work.

“When we see computers interacting with a natural language interface, people are going to want it,” Atkinson said.

“I’d ask you all to watch Jeopardy on February 14,” he said. “It may be a momentous occasion.”