Neural networks make Google Translate app smarter, more accurate while offline

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Google Translate is now better, even offline
On-device learning should make the Google Translate app much better at its job.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Neural machine translation (NMT) has made the online version of Google Translate more accurate for years. Today, this AI feature was added to the iOS and Android apps so it can be used offline.

NTM allows the software to learn over time to create better, more natural translations. And this function is available while traveling without a local data plan.

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.

Apple gives devs the chance to harness power of neural networks

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A rough approximation of a neural network.
Photo: Fdecomite/Flickr CC

Apple is making a new push into artificial intelligence, giving developers access to the company’s neural network technology in a move that should mean big things for apps you’ll use in the future.

While opening up Siri to third-party developers was the most attention-grabbing news coming out of yesterday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple has also revealed that it is will allow developers to tap into the company’s artificial neural network technology. And once the dust is settled, this could turn out to be the biggest development of WWDC, bar none!

Ex-Apple designer builds easy-to-use artificial brain

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The Brain by Mike Matas
Good call. We definitely want to teach the machines love before they become self-aware.
Photo: Mike Matas (via YouTube)

We may be a small step closer to the robot wars thanks to former Apple designer Mike Matas.

Matas’ previous work includes user interfaces for Apple’s Maps, Photos, and Camera apps, as well as the Nest smart thermostat. And he showed off his latest creation, an artificial brain called (appropriately enough) The Brain, via a quick demo on YouTube. It’s a neural network that with an expectedly sharp and clean interface, and in the video, he shows how he can teach The Brain to spit out emojis based on different shapes that he draws.

Check it out below.