2020: A look back at the decade in tech from Alexa to Xbox

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

"Alexa" was just another female name. Uber hadn't taken anyone for a ride yet. And the buzz around Facebook had more to do with the fact that seemingly everyone you once knew was turning up on "The Social Network," and less about the numerous data and privacy scandals that would tarnish the company's reputation later on. The year was 2010, the dawn of a new decade. And while 10 years is a long time for most every industry, in consumer tech it might as well be a lifetime.

Your Brief Guide to Natural Language Processing (Part 1)


In recent years, natural language processing (NLP) has become a part of our everyday lives. Smartphones now come equipped with NLP-powered voice assistants that interpret and understand human speech in order to provide relevant responses to user queries. NLP also helps translation apps break down communication barriers by analyzing input in one language and transforming it into another language. Even word processors rely on NLP to check the grammar, logic, and syntax of written input. And NLP is now an integral part of customer service; it's used to guide people to the right representative through verbal commands.

AI and the Cloud -- The Factory Times


Though it's possible our readers haven't heard much about artificial intelligence, you'd have to be living under a rock if you've never heard of'the cloud,' let alone how rare it would be if you had never interacted with one. Both of these concepts can be so far removed from the average user's daily life. Yet some of the more modern telephones carry technology inside them that enables some of the most basic artificial intelligence. Almost all Android and Apple powered phones, by comparison, keep our settings, backups, photos, and all sorts of information synchronized to one or multiple cloud services. When I write about artificial intelligence, I have to acknowledge the major players at the moment are Intel, IBM, and Google.

Apple iOS 13 Autocorrect Fails: Focus On Privacy Weakens Apple's AI, Experts Say


Most of us want digital privacy, and most of us also want autocorrection that works, speech to text that is accurate, and smart systems that find all our selfies with Serena, or surface the most important emails we need right now. But are those two imperatives in direct opposition? According to some tech analysts and AI experts, they are. Especially those who are experiencing huge issues with iPhone's autocorrection capability in Apple's latest mobile operating system upgrade, iOS 13. "It's way worse on my iPhone," says veteran industry observer Robert Scoble, chief strategy officer at Infinite Retina. "And I've tried several things to fix it, including deleting all the settings and deleting all the history and trying to reboot everything ... I'm seeing a lot of bugs in the spellchecker where it's putting capitalization where it doesn't need to go, where it's switching words a lot more often than it used to. Apple's iOS 13's spellcheck was so bad Scoble ran a Twitter poll, asking his 400,000 followers whether they had similar issues. Twitter polls are hardly scientific, of course. But there's a broad range of people who are claiming that Apple's recent software release has been a big backward step in terms of autocorrection. "iOS 13 got significantly worse for me," says mobile entrepreneur Albert Renshaw, CEO at Apps4Life. "I've been learning French with Duolingo and have been typing in French every day for a little over a year in that app, but have never had an issue with it affecting my autocorrect.

Apple Attending NeurIPS 2019 Next Week, World's Largest Machine Learning Conference


Apple has announced that it will be attending the 33rd Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) in Vancouver, Canada from Sunday, December 8 through Saturday, December 14. In a new entry to its Machine Learning Journal, Apple said its product teams are "engaged in state of the art research in machine hearing, speech recognition, natural language processing, machine translation, text-to-speech, and artificial intelligence, improving the lives of millions of customers every day." Apple employees will be making a series of presentations at the conference. A schedule is provided in Apple's Machine Learning Journal. Machine learning algorithms play a role in virtually every Apple product and service, ranging from Apple Maps and Apple News to Siri and the QuickType keyboard on iPhone and iPad.

When Algorithms go Rogue


In the first week of November, Apple and Goldman Sachs got a bit of unwanted attention when @DHH, the famous creator of Ruby on Rails (and a Le Mans 24h race class winning driver) accused them of gender discrimination. Case in point: He and his wife applied for Apple Cards together and received a credit limit 20 times of was given for his wife. This, when they file joint taxes and she has a better credit score. The Tweet went viral, but things got even more heated when the other "Steve" of Apple, @stevewoz backed the claim. But we are not discussing the troubles of Apple and Goldman Sachs after this incident, and the subsequent legal inquiry that was ordered.

Apple Announced Its Picks for Best Apps of 2019

TIME - Tech

Apple released its picks for the best apps and games of 2019 at an event in New York City on Monday. It also identified what it deemed were the most important trends that drove app development in the past year -- namely reimagined franchises (like Pokémon Masters and Minecraft Earth) and apps that allow for easy content creation (like Anchor and Wattpad). "We are excited to announce such a diverse group of 2019 App Store winners, showing that great design and creativity comes from developers large and small, and from every corner of the world," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Here are Apple's picks for best apps and games of 2019 -- at least on Apple devices. Making books, magazines or other layout-heavy projects requires serious publishing software, but often comes at a high cost.

Ultra-rare Apple Macintosh prototype with original disk drive set to fetch £155,000 at auction

Daily Mail - Science & tech

One of only two surviving prototypes of the original Apple Macintosh computer will go up for auction this week – at an asking price of £155,000. The prototype, which was made in 1983, features the aborted 5.25-inch'Twiggy' disk drive, and is going under the hammer at Bonhams in New York on Wednesday. The Macintosh began as a personal project of inventor Jef Raskin before the late Apple founder Steve Jobs took it over. The original plan was to use a 5.25-inch drive to greatly expand the capacity of standard floppy discs. But they proved unreliable, so a 3.5 inch drive, which was more robust and small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, was chosen instead for mass production.

5 Chatbot and AI Trends for 2020 - The Chatbot


The stats continue to show chatbots on the rise and AI becoming a growing force in how businesses operate. But in 2020, things will accelerate even faster, as the technology becomes more accessible and the benefits clearer across a wider number of markets and uses. Chatbots and AI are advancing so fast, they've already ploughed through what IT research firm Gartner's Hype Cycle call the trough of disillusionment (where people get fed up of hearing about them and the tech initially fails to deliver), and are coming out the other side into the plateau of productivity (where practical benefits and evidence of value become clear). To be clear, we're focusing on practical and achievable trends, even as others keep on pushing the hype button about job destruction and damage through AI. Only a couple of years back, MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks accurately wrote The Seven Deadly Sins of Predicting the Future of AI, and yet there is still way too much of the doom-and-gloom about.