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AAPL Stock Rebounds After Apple Buying Shazam Report

International Business Times

Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to purchase the audio recognition app Shazam--a popular app that can identify music, television show, movie or advertisement by listening to an audio clip--according to TechCrunch. No official price has been made public, though the deal is believed to be in the nine-figure range and has been rumored to be around $400 million. During its last funding round in 2015, Shazam was valued at more than $1 billion. The report was confirmed by the Financial Times, which reported the deal would value the London-based Shazam as worth "hundreds of millions of dollars" and would be one of the largest acquisitions in Apple's history. During its September 2017 earnings report, Shazam posted $54 million in revenue over the course of its 2016 fiscal year, a turnaround from its previous two years.


Google Assistant for Android now supports Spanish and Italian

Engadget

Google announced today that its virtual assistant will now support two new languages -- Spanish for users in the US, Mexico and Spain as well as Italian for those in Italy. These languages will be rolling out over the next few weeks, according to Google, and while initially they'll only be available for Android, the company says iPhone support will be released later this year. With these additions, Google Assistant now supports a total of eight languages -- including English, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese and Korean -- in 12 countries around the world. While that puts Google's virtual assistant in line with Microsoft's Cortana, which also supports eight languages, ahead of Amazon's Alexa, which only supports German and a few versions of English, and ahead of Samsung's Bixby, which supports just English and Korean, it's still well behind Apple's Siri. Apple's assistant currently supports 20 languages -- quite a few more than any of its counterparts.


Overly demanding Apple may fudge facial recognition feature a bit to get iPhone X to market by holidays

The Japan Times

SAN, FRANCISCO/SEOUL – As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn't have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays. The challenge was how to make the sophisticated phone -- with advanced features such as facial recognition -- in large enough numbers. As Wall Street analysts and fan blogs watched for signs that the company would stumble, Apple came up with a solution: It quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation. With the iPhone X set to debut on Nov. 3, we're about to find out whether the move has paid off. Some analysts say there may still be too few iPhone Xs to meet initial demand.


Apple is dropping Bing in favor of Google in Siri, Spotlight on Mac

ZDNet

Apple announced today that it is switching from Bing to Google as the Web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac. Apple officials did say they will continue to use Bing Web image search results in Siri, noted TechCrunch, citing an Apple statement sent to the outlet. In 2013, Microsoft and Apple struck a deal to make Bing the backup Web search engine in Siri. In 2014, Microsoft and Apple struck a related deal to make Bing the default Web search engine for Spotlight on the Mac and iOS 8.


Amazon's Alexa to chat up Microsoft's Cortana

Daily Mail

Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana's unique work-related features like booking meetings, accessing work calendars, and reading work emails. Bezos raised the idea with Nadella in May 2016 at Microsoft's annual CEO summit in Seattle, then initiating it further by forwarding Nadella a draft of a news release describing how Alexa and Cortana could work together Amazon and Microsoft have been coordinating behind the scenes to make their voice assistants communicate for over a year. Bezos raised the idea with Nadella in May 2016 at Microsoft's annual CEO summit in Seattle, then initiating it further by forwarding Nadella a draft of a news release describing how Alexa and Cortana could work together. Bezos raised the idea with Nadella in May 2016 at Microsoft's annual CEO summit in Seattle, then initiating it further by forwarding Nadella a draft of a news release describing how Alexa and Cortana would work together.


HomePod Release Date: Apple May Have Shortages At Launch, Report Says

International Business Times

During an earnings conference call Monday, HomePod supplier Inventec Appliances gave further details about the new Apple device's launch schedule. Priced at $349, the home speaker features a combination of high-fidelity audio and Siri-powered connectivity designed to be an alternative to similar smart home speakers from companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Amazon's Alexa, which debuted in 2014, has become a juggernaut for the online retailer thanks to the Echo series of smart home devices and Alexa's adoption by manufacturers for products ranging from TVs to home appliances. Due to Amazon's success, numerous competitors have entered the smart home speaker market in recent months.


AI Startups Take The Money And Run As Big Tech Comes Acquiring - Crunchbase News

#artificialintelligence

To elucidate the increased pace of AI acquisition further, from 2007 to 2012, acquisitions of AI startups experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 25 percent. Meanwhile, from 2013 to 2016, the compounded annual growth rate of AI startup acquisition nearly doubled to 49 percent. Assuming the pace of acquisition remains steady, a total of 99 AI startups will be acquired by the end of the year, bringing our estimated compound annual growth down to 43 percent. The company has made over one-third of the total number of acquisitions made by the top five AI acquirers in our chart.


Your Robot Vacuum Cleaner Will Soon Collect And Sell Data About You And Your Home

#artificialintelligence

That vision has its fans, from investors to the likes of Amazon, Apple and Alphabet, who are all pushing artificially intelligent voice assistants as smart home interfaces... Angle told Reuters that iRobot, which made Roomba compatible with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant in March, could reach a deal to sell its maps to one or more of the Big Three in the next couple of years. Especially in the cell phone era when every step you take is collected, tracked, monetized and sold by cellular companies, app makers, and every advertising and metric company in between. But there's an awful lot of data these robots collect that you may not particularly want shared, and our proud tradition of overlong, convoluted terms of service traditionally won't make that clear.


Microsoft Launches Artificial Intelligence Research Lab

#artificialintelligence

Microsoft Corp. MSFT recently announced the launch of Microsoft Research AI lab. It will focus on obstacles faced in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Zacks Rank Currently, Microsoft holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


Google acquires Bangalore-based AI firm Halli Labs - ETtech

#artificialintelligence

American technology giant Google has acquired Bangalore-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. "We will be joining Google's Next Billion Users team to help get more technology and information into more people's hands around the world. A Google spokesperson said, "We are excited that the Halli Labs team is joining Google. Some of the acquisitions by Google in AI include firms such deep learning and neural network startup DNNresearch from the computer science department at the University of Toronto in 2013; British company DeepMind Technologies in 2014 for $600 million; visual search startup Moodstock, and bot platform Api.ai last year.