Jan 15, 2020

Apple confirms purchase of AI startup Xnor.ai

Screenshot: Xnor.ai

Apple confirmed to Axios it has purchased Xnor.ai, a Seattle-based startup that specializes in putting artificial intelligence on devices rather than via centralized servers.

Why it matters: Doing AI work on devices is a key trend, especially for Apple, as it makes it easier to offer privacy protections. Apple, for example, does all of its automated tagging and categorization of photos on its devices.

What they're saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company told Axios, offering the tell-tale statement it gives when it makes an acquisition.

Seattle-based tech site GeekWire first reported the deal earlier Wednesday, pegging the purchase price at $200 million.

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Google CEO calls for balanced regulations on artificial intelligence

Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is calling for regulations on artificial intelligence, warning that the technology can bring both positive and negative consequences, AP reports.

Why it matters: Lawmakers are largely scrambling to play catch-up on AI regulation as the technology continues to grow. Pichai did not provide specific proposals, but did urge while speaking at the Bruegel European economic think tank Monday that "international alignment" between the United States and the European Union will help ensure AI is used primarily for good.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020

Apple's stance on iCloud encryption keys is nothing new for the company

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple has come under fire this week for holding onto encryption keys to iCloud backups, which let it provide law enforcement with access to users' data even while the company is refusing to unlock iPhones for the FBI, as in the current standoff over the Pensacola shooter's phone.

The state of play: Apple's practice is nothing new — and it's not a sign the company is capitulating to law enforcement in the encryption debate.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020

Trump rips into Apple for refusing "to unlock phones used by killers"

President Trump. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump attacked Apple on Tuesday, recommending the technology company unlock the iPhones used by "killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements."

What he's saying: "We are helping Apple all of the time on TRADE and so many other issues,” a Trump tweet read. "They will have to step up to the plate and help our great Country, NOW!"

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020