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.

Top tech trends of 2017

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top tech trends 2017
2017 was a great year for consumer technology.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's 2017 Apple year in review2017 was an exciting year for consumer technology. It brought us big advancements in areas like machine learning and biometric security, as well as a big boost for augmented reality, and some not-so-satisfying changes to smartphone price tags.

Here are the top technology trends of 2017.

Quick tip: How to make Face ID more accurate

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VCSEL
The laser in the iPhone X's Face ID could one day transform the speed of broadband.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What do you do when Face ID doesn’t recognize your face? Do you reposition your face? Reposition the iPhone? Stare a little harder at the camera, to tell it you really mean business?

Stop! Instead of acquiescing to your iPhone X’s silent demands, you should use this as a teaching moment (and show your phone who’s boss at the same time). Face ID learns how your face changes over time, but you can also teach it to recognize you better. Here’s how.

Apple is turning to India to recruit its next AI whiz kids

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best films of 2015 ex machina
Gain great A.I. graduates and grow your market in India? That's what's called a win-win.
Photo: Universal

To help with its machine learning and artificial intelligence research, Apple is reportedly scouting for possible new employees straight out of an engineering college in India.

It’s a move which not only helps further Apple’s A.I. ambitions, but also shows its continued focus on India, a market which Apple is desperate to expand into.