Apr 25, 2017

Apple exec: computers will help us recall every memory

Bret Hartman/TED

While many people look to artificial intelligence to replace humans with robots, a top Apple executive laid out a different vision on Tuesday. Speaking at the TED conference, AI expert (and Siri co-founder) Tom Gruber said computer smarts should be used to augment human failings, such as memory.

In the not-to-distant future, Gruber said computers should be able to help us remember every person we have met, every food we have eaten and how it made us feel.

"I can't say when or what form factors are involved, but I think it is inevitable," Gruber said.

Privacy, security are key: That much data could obviously be hugely useful to the individual, but also incredibly dangerous in the hands of governments or those with malicious intent. "We get to choose what is and is not recalled," he said. "It's absolutely essential that this be kept very secure."

The benefits to average people could be huge from such augmented memory, but a literal life-changer for the millions with dementia and Alzheimer's. It's the difference between life of isolation and a life of dignity and connection, he said.

Similarly, he told the story of Daniel, a blind, quadriplegic friend who uses Siri to meet people online.

"Here's a man whose relationship with AI helps him... with genuine human relationships," Gruber said.

Go deeper

The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A small percentage of people — called superspreaders — may be responsible for a large number of COVID-19 infections, research is starting to indicate.

Why it matters: While there's no method to detect who these people are before they infect others, there are ways to control behaviors that cause superspreading events — a key issue as states start to reopen and debate what types of events are OK.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.