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

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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.

Apple promotes new SVP of machine learning and AI

By

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

By

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

By

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

By

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.