Apple


Barclays customers can now ask Siri to make payments for them

Engadget

In today's edition of companies making it all too easy for us to spend money, Barclays has added a feature to its iOS app that will debit your account after hearing you utter but a few words. Or, less sinisterly put, Barclays' mobile banking app now lets you make payments with Siri commands. Provided you've granted Apple's assistant access to your account in the app, you can transfer money to any previously known payee, or anyone in your iPhone's contact list. That's technically true, though PayPal added the feature towards the end of last year and Santander added voice payments to its app in February, though it's not Siri you're asking in that instance.


Smartphones set to become 'superphones'

#artificialintelligence

Keynote addresses at the world's biggest consumer electronics show routinely attract a full house, but in the country that gave the world Apple, the international press corps seemed fixated on the touted "epic" capabilities of the Honor Magic, the latest model in the budget smartphone brand by Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Ahead of the anticipated launch of the iPhone 8, Apple is reportedly working on an AI chip of its own – tentatively called the Apple Neural Engine. "We predict that by 2019, 20 per cent of all smartphone interactions will be done via a virtual personal assistant [VPA]," Cozza says. Huawei sees upcoming Mate 10 handset spoiling the launch of Apple's new iPhone


Essential's startup advantage might come back to haunt it

Engadget

This is the phone (and company) that Rubin thinks is innovative enough to take on big players like Apple and Samsung. Indeed, this Home device is compatible with existing voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa -- so long as their respective makers are willing to play nice with Essential's hardware. Scott Croyle, the chief design and product officer of Nextbit, had positive things to say about Essential (Nextbit is the startup company behind Robin, an Android phone with cloud integration). For example, the Home device's accessory docking pins are identical to the PH-1's.


This AI generates fake Street View images in impressive high definition

#artificialintelligence

What the researchers have developed is an imaginative artificial intelligence that can create photorealistic Google Street View-style images of fake street scenes. A bit like a comic artist who draws a city backdrop by taking photo references from different places and weaving them together, the street scenes Stanford and Intel's AI imagines are based on individual elements it saw during its training -- and then combines them to create novel images. The technology that makes this possible is something called a cascaded refinement network, a type of neural network designed to synthesize HD images with a consistent structure. Like a regular neural network, a cascaded refinement network features multiple layers, which it uses to generate features one layer at a time.


How can Apple and autonomous systems help you?

#artificialintelligence

The Internet of Things (IoT) means we already have millions of connected devices. Wikipedia tells us an autonomous system relates to the complex network of networks that comprise the internet. These autonomous machines must be able to achieve all of this in real time, on real roads, no matter what random events may take place on those roads. But the things it doesn't do will be an opportunity for eagle-eyed entrepreneurs seeking a smart, highly secure, fragmentation-free market-trusted platform upon which to build autonomous systems for profitable verticals.


A Guide to Understanding AI Toolkits

@machinelearnbot

Contemporary AI workloads can be divided into two classes: machine learning and deep learning. The second class of AI workload has received considerably more attention and hype in the last two years: a specialization of one machine learning technique, neural networks, known as deep learning. Deep learning is fueling the interest in AI, or "cognitive" technologies, with applications such as image recognition, voice recognition, automatic game-playing, and self-driving cars as well as other autonomous vehicles. Common open-source tools include R and Python; the big data platforms Apache Spark and Hadoop also have their own toolkits for parallel machine learning (Spark's MLLIB and Apache Mahout).


The Everywhere Store: Amazon's AI-powered master plan to be the world's biggest company

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So, when Amazon set out to build the AI assistant Alexa, Bezos envisioned finally realising the Star Trek computer - a benign, omniscient assistant, available everywhere. Amazon Prime - the annual membership that includes, among other things, speedy delivery - has millions of customers in the UK and tens of millions in the US (Amazon declined to give us precise numbers for this feature). The third-party voice apps, called Skills, instantly made Alexa more useful than the likes of Siri and Google Assistant. There are teams working to constantly tweak Alexa's personality, intonation and knowledge base in response to customer feedback, all to give the impression of an omni-potent, human-like assistant.


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.


Top 10 players in Artificial Intelligence - Computer Business Review

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The company is also a big contributor to the general progress within artificial intelligence, as Microsoft Research has gained significant ground in areas such as Deep Learning. Technology company Infor recently released another name to the familiar list of AIs that are used across the globe. The company has shown an interest in not simply endorsing itself with AI technology, but it has taken a very open, community based approach to research by launching the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group, helping to pave the way for development. The company has been busily engaged in deep learning, now offering the AWS Deep Learning AMI product that can be used by researchers and developers to get the ball rolling when it comes to teaching and training AI platforms.


5 Easy Tech Tricks to Make You More Productive

TIME

Add up the dozens of tabs crowding your web browser, the splayed photos from last month's vacation and the overflowing email inbox you're catching up on, and there's never enough screen space. We've all been there: you glance down at your phone to see a dinner invitation from a friend or an email from a colleague, mentally commit to respond later, then forget to. Apple's voice assistant Siri can help. Try a free app like Evernote Scannable or Adobe Scan to scan documents, receipts, business cards, forms and more by using your smartphone's camera.