Apple promotes new SVP of machine learning and AI

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John Giannandrea
John Giannandrea is Apple’s newest SVP.
Photo: Apple

Apple has promoted John Giannandrea to its executive team as senior vice president of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

Giannandrea, who joined Apple back in April of this year after eight years at Google, is responsible for Siri and the Core ML framework. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is “fortune to have John … driving our efforts in this critical area.”

Why HomePod’s ‘Hey Siri’ will blow you away

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Siri speaker
The HomePod's ability to hear at full volume is one of the most impressive feats.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple pulled back the curtain on some of the most complicated features of its HomePod smart speaker this morning with a new blog post that details the machine learning tech that goes into its ‘Hey Siri’ detection.

One of the biggest challenges with making a smart speaker is not only figuring out what to listen for but also what sounds to discard in the process. Apple’s engineers have come up with a number of interesting methods to make Siri work even when you’re blasting tunes our of the HomePod’s speakers.

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.

Apple buys visual effects startup focused on machine learning

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Spektral 2
Startup is helping Apple's video and photo editing tools get smarter.
Photo: Spektral

Apple has acquired a Danish visual effects company which uses machine learning technology for image and video editing.

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the startup Spektral was acquired late in 2017, although news of the purchase has only come to light now. One of the company’s core technologies relates to real-time green screen processing that’s capable of separating people and objects from a background and dropping them into a scene with an alternate backdrop.

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.

All the important stuff revealed at Google I/O

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Google I/O 2018 was full of AI surprises.
Google I/O 2018 was full of AI surprises.
Photo: Google

Google just took the wraps off its big software lineup for 2018. If Apple executives were watching, there’s a lot they should be worried about.

Artificial intelligence has always been one of Google’s strengths over Apple. But in 2018, the search company is going all out, putting AI in everything. Pretty much every app the company has is getting some new machine-learning tricks in the next few weeks that make certain iOS features look ancient.

Check out the biggest announcements from this morning’s Google I/O keynote.

Google gamifies machine learning with Emoji Scavenger Hunt

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Emoji game Scavenger Hunt turns powerful machine learning and image recognition technology into a game for your phone.
Emoji Scavenger Hunt turns powerful machine learning and image recognition technology into a game for your phone.
Screenshot: Google

Emoji are many things to many people. Depending who you ask, they’re fun, flirty, confusing, a whole new language, or the demise of language itself.

Google’s Emoji Scavenger Hunt adds one more to the many meanings of emoji: a way to play with machine learning.

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.