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jerryking : siri   18

Hey Siri. Why did Apple pay $200m for an AI start-up?
JANUARY 15 2020 | Financial Times | Richard Waters and Patrick McGee in San Francisco.

For Apple, better on-device AI would allow the company’s customers to keep full control of their personal data.

Apple has paid almost $200m for an AI start up, Seattle-based Xnor, that specialises in bringing intelligence to “smart” devices.....Xnor specialises in running complex machine learning models on so-called edge devices — the wide range of gadgets, from smartphones to smart home devices and cars, that operate beyond the reach of the cloud data centres that currently handle most artificial intelligence processing.  Running machine learning on-device, rather than in the cloud, has become one of the most important technology frontiers in the spread of AI. For Apple, better on-device AI would allow the company’s customers to keep full control of their personal data......That has become an important part of the company’s marketing pitch as it tries to distinguish itself from Google and Facebook.

Xnor had developed a way to run large machine learning models without requiring the computing resources and power normally needed for such data-intensive work (e.g. the technology reduces network demands caused by AI aka latency). .....This means that critical applications can continue to run even when they lose a connection to the cloud, such as in driverless cars.
Apple  artificial_intelligence  cloud_computing  connected_devices  data_centers  decentralization  edge  Facebook  Google  latency  M&A  machine_learning  on-device  personal_data  Richard_Waters  Siri  start_ups  Xnor 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
What will Apple do without Jony Ive?
June 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Bradshaw, Global Technology Correspondent.

Sir Jonathan prepares to move on from Apple to launch his own new venture, LoveFrom, after more than two decades at the Silicon Valley giant.....As a company worth nearly $1tn, Apple today is financially secure. But Sir Jonathan's looming departure will once again raise questions about its future. 

This is not the first time that Sir Jonathan’s role has evolved. In recent years, his design expertise has extended beyond crafting Apple’s pocketable devices. He helped retail chief Angela Ahrendts overhaul its stores, from fixtures such as its tree-lined “Genius Groves”, down to simplifying product packaging. 

More significantly, he oversaw the company’s long-planned move to its new headquarters, Apple Park, which was first conceived with Jobs back in 2004 and designed in partnership with British architects Foster + Partners.....Speaking at a Wired magazine event in 2018, he appeared to suggest that he was back for the long haul, saying: “There’s an awful lot to do and an awful lot of opportunity.” ....Apple Park...brought Apple’s entire design team together for the first time into one purpose-built studio, with industrial designers sitting side by side with font and interface designers......Perhaps the most important legacy that Jon Ive leaves . . . is the team.”.......By Apple’s outsized standards, the tight-knit group of people who work on product design is small. It runs to just a few dozen people out of an organisation that employs some 132,000 staff.....
Yet the team wields a disproportionate influence inside the Cupertino-based company. With an extensive array of tooling and fabrication equipment that is rarely found outside a manufacturing plant, the studio explores new product categories and the materials that might build them, from unique blends of aluminium to ceramics. 

They define not only a product’s appearance but how its software looks and feels, how it responds to gestures, even how an iPhone or Watch gently vibrates to give a user “haptic feedback”. 

“No group within Apple has more power than the industrial designers,” ......Jonathan Ive has thousands of patents to his name, encompassing the original iPod and iPhone to more obscure innovations, including the iPad’s magnetic cover, the Apple Store’s wooden tables and a lanyard used to attach an iPod to a wrist......Jonathan’s departure is likely to reopen a debate that has been simmering for several years — namely how will Apple come up with a new hit product that can match the unprecedented success of the iPhone, whose record-breaking profits propelled Apple to become the first trillion-dollar company last year........it may be that no single product ever will top the iPhone — for any tech company, not just Apple. It is a question that hangs over Silicon Valley as the industry casts around for a new platform, be it virtual reality or smart speakers, that might become as ubiquitous and essential as the smartphone.........Apple is also putting greater attention on an expanding portfolio of online services, including games, news and video........Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive have both pointed to healthcare as a potential new market for Apple, building on the Watch’s new capabilities for detecting heart irregularities.....Healthcare is just one example of how the battleground has changed for Apple in recent years. Despite pioneering virtual assistants with Siri, Apple found itself outflanked by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant in both sales of smart speakers and artificial intelligence capabilities.

New blood at Apple

Some analysts believe that new blood could invigorate Apple’s response to these challenges. Alongside the high-profile departures of Ms Ahrendts and Sir Jonathan, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google to become its head of machine learning and AI strategy, as well as Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amberg from Sony Pictures Television to run its push into original video. 

“The apparent acceleration in the pace of change within Apple at the executive level reflects the paradigm shift the company is undergoing from a hardware-driven story to ‘Apple as a service’,....... the most significant concern for investors will be that Sir Jonathan’s departure will take away another arbiter of focus and product direction that Apple had already lost with the death of Jobs.....Jonathan’s focus is growing beyond the steel and glass borders of Apple Park, saying he wants to “solve some complicated problems”. .....“One defining characteristics is almost a fanatical curiosity,” he said. “But if you don’t have the space, if you don’t have the tools and the infrastructure, that curiosity can often not have the opportunity to be pursued.”

LoveFrom itself defies traditional categorisation. “I have no interest in creating yet another design agency,” he said firmly. “What’s important is the values and what motivates that collection of people …Small groups of people, I think as Apple has demonstrated over the years, can do some extraordinary things.”

 

 

 
Alexa  Apple  Apple_IDs  Apple_Park  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  curiosity  design  departures  exits  Google_Assistant  haptics  healthcare  Jonathan_Ive  LoveFrom  new_categories  new_products  patents  services  Silicon_Valley  Siri  smart_speakers  subscriptions  teams  Tim_Cook  virtual_assistants 
june 2019 by jerryking
Amazon Echo Review: Second Generation, Still in First Place
Oct. 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Joanna Stern

Head of the Class

The real reason to buy an Echo has nothing to do with good looks or mics. It’s all about invisible Alexa. Generally speaking, all of Alexa’s smarts work on all the devices. And in the AI-assistant race against Google and Apple, Amazon has kept its early lead in some key areas:

* A deep ecosystem. With over 25,000 voice apps, or “skills,” and multiple hardware partners integrating Alexa, Amazon’s AI platform has become the most advanced voice operating system. Google has made some headway with third-party apps, but Alexa still has the edge with more news, ride-hailing, to-do list and kitchen-friendly apps. Google’s Assistant, however, does excel at answering random questions better. Come on, Alexa, you should know wool doesn’t go in the dryer.
* A smarter smart home. Amazon still has Google beat in smart-home control. Case in point: Alexa devices work with more connected thermostat brands than Google Home does. If you are especially interested in smart home, check out the $150 Echo Plus. It has all of the new Echo’s refinements, plus built-in wireless technology for home control without the need for third-party hubs.
* A stream of new features. Earlier this month, Echos got the ability to recognize multiple voices; your voice becomes a password. When I want to reorder breath mints, Alexa knows me and doesn’t ask for a PIN. Back in May, Amazon turned Alexa into a telephone operator: You can call others with the Alexa app or with an Echo. In June, Alexa got the ability to name different kitchen timers (one for the Brussels sprouts, one for the chicken). Reminder: Google Home has a number of these features as well. And Siri still can’t set multiple timers.

Despite Amazon’s lead, the Alexa apps for iOS and Android are in dire need of a redesign. Finding controls you want is harder than finding your bag at baggage claim. The Settings menu itself feels like an entirely different app. I made a video to show how voice recognition works, partly because it confused me so much at first.
Amazon_Echo  Alexa  Apple_HomePod  Google_Home  virtual_assistants  personal_assistants  voice_assistants  smart_homes  Siri  connected_devices  artificial_intelligence  voice_interfaces 
october 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Alexa allies with Microsoft’s Cortana to take on Google, Siri
AUGUST 30, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | SUPANTHA MUKHERJEE AND MUNSIF VENGATTIL for REUTERS.

Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp have joined forces to let their voice-controlled virtual assistants talk to each other, offering users the ability to seamlessly tap into work, their homes and shop online.

The partnership is the first time two technology companies open up their artificial intelligence-powered virtual aides to each other, and will be aimed at outsmarting rivals Google Assistant and Apple's Siri.

The move in itself is rare as most virtual assistants are known to use data from their own ecosystems and not talk to one another......Not to be left behind, Alphabet Inc said on Wednesday Google Assistant will soon be available on third-party speakers and other home appliances. (http://bit.ly/2vERgEc)

"Starting later this year, with manufacturers like LG, you'll be able to control your appliances, including washers, dryers, vacuums and more from your Assistant on your smart speaker, Android phone or iPhone," Google said.
Siri  Alexa  Cortana  artificial_intelligence  Amazon  Microsoft  Google  Google_Assistant  LG  Apple  partnerships  smart_speakers 
september 2017 by jerryking
Your Lawyer May Soon Ask This AI-Powered App for Legal Help | WIRED
DAVEY ALBA BUSINESS DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08.07.15.
08.07.15

ROSS Intelligence is a voice recognition app powered by IBM Watson, the machine learning service based on the company’s Jeopardy-playing cognitive system, that doles out legal assistance.

The app is yet another example of the ways machine learning is infiltrating our everyday lives. These days, it’s not just AI algorithms themselves that have improved, but the ability to deliver them across the Internet that has made so many new applications possible.....Asking Natural Questions
Ross works much like Siri. Users can ask it any question the same way a client might—for instance, “If an employee has not been meeting sales targets and has not been able to complete the essentials of their employment, can they be terminated without notice?” The system sifts through its database of legal documents and spits out an answer paired with a confidence rating. Below the answer, a user can see the source documents from which Ross has pulled the information; if the response is accurate, you can hit a “thumbs up” button to save the source. Select “thumbs down” and Ross come up with another response.
technology  law  lawtech  lawyers  law_firms  machine_learning  voice_recognition  voice_interfaces  virtual_assistants  artificial_intelligence  Siri  IBM_Watson 
june 2016 by jerryking
Meet Viv: the AI that wants to read your mind and run your life | Technology | The Guardian
Zoë Corbyn
Sunday 31 January
Viv, a three-year-old AI startup backed by $30m, including funds from Iconiq Capital, which helps manage the fortunes of Mark Zuckerberg and other wealthy tech executives. In a blocky office building in San Jose’s downtown, the company is working on what Kittlaus describes as a “global brain” – a new form of voice-controlled virtual personal assistant. With the odd flashes of personality, Viv will be able to perform thousands of tasks, and it won’t just be stuck in a phone but integrated into everything from fridges to cars. “Tell Viv what you want and it will orchestrate this massive network of services that will take care of it,” he says.....But, Kittlaus says, all these virtual assistants he helped birth are limited in their capabilities. Enter Viv. “What happens when you have a system that is 10,000 times more capable?” he asks. “It will shift the economics of the internet.”....The future, as Etzioni sees it, belongs to the company that can make a personal assistant something like a good hotel concierge: someone you can have a sophisticated dialogue with, get high quality recommendations from and who will then take care of every aspect of booking an evening out for you.
artificial_intelligence  start_ups  Siri  orchestration  virtual_assistants  voice_interfaces  voice_recognition  personal_assistants  bots  chatbots 
april 2016 by jerryking
Kensho, a startup doing Siri (or Watson) for financial markets, has raised $10M — Tech News and Analysis
By Derrick Harris
Jan. 22, 2014

It looks like a smart product from a smart team, especially if the UI and visualizations are as good as the algorithms.... Warren (as in Warren Buffett, I presume), is a natural-language search engine for data on financial markets. You (assuming you’re a banker or very sophisticated day trader) type in a question — an example from the company’s website is “Which aerospace companies rally following major breakthroughs in drone technology?” — and it returns results in the form of data.
start_ups  open_data  value_chains  fin-tech  finance  Kensho  search  search_engines  financial_services  Siri  IBM_Watson 
january 2014 by jerryking
Google's Data Advantage Over Apple's Siri - NYTimes.com
July 19, 2012, 11:08 am 8 Comments
Google’s Data Advantage Over Apple’s Siri
By QUENTIN HARDY
Google  Apple  data  voice_recognition  Siri  data_driven  voice_interfaces 
july 2012 by jerryking

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