Apple Possibly Looking to Japanese Expertise to Improve Siri

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Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that Japan has a big part to play in the company's ongoing development of AI, as he continued his travels around the country via bullet train on Monday. Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, Cook revealed that Apple's new advanced R&D center in Yokohama, currently scheduled for completion in December, would focus on "deep engineering" and would be "very different" from the R&D base Apple is building in China, without giving away specifics. Photo via Tim Cook However, Cook intimated that one of its main focuses would be on developing Apple's artificial intelligence services – which recently drew some criticism in the press – and emphasized that the company wanted to leverage specifically Japanese expertise in the field. "AI is horizontal in nature, running across all products, and is used in ways that most people don't even think about," said Cook. "We want the AI to increase your battery life, to recommend music to Apple Music subscribers... [to] help you remember where you parked your car."Japan's robotics heritage is legendary, coming on the back of years of successfully building industrial robots, however the state of its AI research remains ambiguous, given its relative lack of investment in deep learning from large amounts of analyzed data, which U.S. companies like Facebook and Google are already heavily researching. To improve on this front, Japan has just opened a Center for Advanced Integrated Intelligence Research in Tokyo (RIKEN), which specifically aims to develop systems of AI that will be able to solve problems using "Big Data".


Google's Pixel phone isn't groundbreaking but still stands out

Los Angeles Times

Google achieves that by pulling together the best features from Apple, Samsung and other phones and offering them at prices comparable to iPhones -- starting at about 650 for the regular, 5-inch model and 770 for the 5.5-inch "XL" edition. Both versions go on sale Thursday through Verizon, Best Buy and Google's online store. We tested the Pixel XL model; the regular version has identical features except for its smaller display and battery -- still enough for 13 hours of Internet use, according to Google. With either, you get an excellent camera and a strong voice assistant that promises to get smarter. The Pixel isn't quite an iPhone replacement, as Google wants you to believe; hardware is just part of what makes an iPhone an iPhone.


Chinese edition of em Technological Singularity /em comes at right time-Eastday

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In his book The Singularity Is Near, American computer scientist Ray Kurzweil had predicted a decade ago that by 2045 non-biological intelligence will have exceeded biological intelligence on Earth due to exponential changes in infotech, biotech and nanotech. Basically, man and machine will become one. But Murray Shanahan, a London-based cognitive robotics professor, disagrees with Kurzweil's theory in his more recent book, Technological Singularity. "Kurzweil was very precise (about time)," Shanahan tells China Daily in an interview in Beijing. "Technological singularity has a very dramatic impact on humanity."


What's on TV: 'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' and 'Bojack Horseman'

Engadget

The NFL is back in action, and along with it we have a slew of fall TV shows returning. That includes bingeable (it's a word) options on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu like Bojack Horseman season five, The First, Forever and American Vandal season two. For gamers, the standard edition of NBA 2K19 is here, plus the latest Tomb Raider game, while Blu-ray fans can get Oceans 8 or Batman: The Killing Joke on 4K Blu-ray. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed). Richard's been tech-obsessed since first laying hands on an Atari joystick.


Siri's latest Easter egg lets you become 'Lego Batman'

Engadget

Apple's personal assistant Siri is known for its Easter eggs and its oddball answers to questions like, "What is the meaning of life?" Now, its latest trick will help you get in touch with your inner Dark Knight. The Lego Batman Movie, released last Friday, features the voice of Siri as the Batcave's computer. So, naturally, Apple has teamed up with Warner Bros. to cross-promote the animated film. If you say, "Hey, computer!" or "Hey, 'puter!" into Siri, she responds to you as if you're the tiny, plastic Caped Crusader.