iOS 14’s adult-content blocker prevents searches for the word ‘Asian’

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Apple's adult block
It's likely an example of AI run amok.
Photo: Apple

iOS 14’s built-in pornographic content blocker stymies searches that include the word “Asian,” according to a computer science student.

This means searches for “Asian food” or “Asian countries” are blocked if the adult content filters are enabled. Similar blocks aren’t in place for search terms including “black,” “white,” “Arab,” “French” and other national or racial descriptors.

Voiceitt is an iOS app that will make Alexa easier for people with atypical speech

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Voiceitt
This could be a game-changer for those who need it.
Photo: Voiceitt

CES 2021 bug For people with non-standard speech — such as those who have experienced strokes, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, or developmental disorders — communicating with an AI assistant like Amazon’s Alexa isn’t quite as seamless as it is for many.

With that in mind, a speech recognition startup for atypical speech, called Voiceitt, has developed an accessibility app for iOS that improves Alexa. Here’s how it works.

Improve your grammar and writing with machine learning

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whitesmoke
Gain access to a suite of web-based tools for improving your writing quality, for emails, reports, and anywhere else words are involved.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Becoming a better writer requires feedback. But not everyone has room in their life for writing workshops and deep dives into literature. If you want to improve your writing quickly and easily, you need this web-based tool that uses machine learning to polish your prose.

Apple launches residency program for those interested in the future of AI

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Robot
Apple is ramping up its focus on artificial intelligence.
Photo: Scott Schaut/Mansfield Memorial Museum

Apple has launched a new artificial intelligence and machine learning residency program for people from other STEM disciplines wanting to “dip their toe” into the world of cutting edge machine learning.

Michael Rennaker, manager of Apple in Research Academia (ARIA), announced the new initiative on Twitter. The program seeks experts in fields like design, linguistics, neuroscience, and psychology whose interests may cross over with AI.

Apple could ‘lead the industry’ in AI, says Cupertino’s machine learning boss

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John Giannandrea
Apple's AI boss says machine learning is being used in more places than ever.
Photo: Apple

Apple is using machine learning technology in more and more of its features, John Giannandrea, the company’s senior vice president for machine learning and AI strategy, reveals in a new interview with Ars Technica.

Giannandrea, who joined Apple from a job at Google, said “there are increasingly fewer and fewer places in iOS where we’re not using machine learning.” This stands in strong contrast to a few years ago — and even the point at which Giannandrea landed his Apple job.

Apple keeps throwing money at making Siri smarter

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Siri Alexa in voice report
Apple’s latest acquisition aims to give Siri better data to work with.
Photo: Apple

Apple purchased Inductiv, a Canadian company that focused on using artificial intelligence to clean up data. They created HoloClean, which was designed to get useful predictions from “noisy, incomplete, and erroneous data.”

The employees of Inductiv joined the team developing Siri, Apple’s voice-driven AI assistant, according to Bloomberg.

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’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.

You could write Hollywood’s next blockbuster on your iPhone

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Wattpad: The social reading and writing app that’s transforming the entertainment industry
Wattpad: The app that's transforming the entertainment industry
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Ever dreamed of penning a Hollywood blockbuster? Turns out there’s an app for that: social reading and writing app Wattpad.

With more than 70 million monthly users (and growing fast), Wattpad is a low-key App Store hit. The app is like Instagram, but for sharing stories instead of photos. It’s a great way to find fantastic new stories — and it’s flipping the script on how Hollywood makes movies.

Apple plans to hire 2,000 workers in Seattle by 2024

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333dexter
Apple is moving into these two buildings in Seattle.
Photo: Kilroy Realty

The mayor of Seattle confirmed today that Apple is making a major play to move into Amazon and Microsoft’s backyard.

During a press conference today, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan revealed that Apple plans to increase its expansion into Seattle by hiring an additional 2,000 employees in the next five years.