Jun 9, 2017

Tim Cook: people are wrong to discount Apple's AI efforts

Apple may be late to the party with its AI-enabled HomePod personal assistant and speaker system, but CEO Tim Cook tells the MIT Technology Review that doesn't mean that the firm isn't on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence technology.

Cook says that the iPhone is chock-full of AI capabilities, like photo recognition, a music-recommendation engine, and a system that helps conserve battery power. The difference, Cook, says Apple is less flashy when it comes to touting future developments. "We are not going to go through things we're going to do in 2019, '20, '21," Cook said. "It's not because we don't know that. It's because we don't want to talk about that."

What they are doing now: While Siri is the most visible aspect of Apple's AI work, the company has also added a bunch of machine learning capabilities in iOS 11, the next version of the iPhone operating system, including new tools to let developers tap computer vision and natural language processing capabilities.

Why it matters: Apple has gotten flak for trailing competitors Amazon and Google in this space. Some of the issues are matters of approach. Amazon and Google have opened their assistants more broadly than Apple, which has focused on adding capabilities to Siri one capability at a time. More broadly, some have expressed concern that Apple doesn't have enough customer data as rivals because of its focus on privacy.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The year of the protest meets the year of the lockdown

Hong Kong demonstrators protest a government ban on face masks in October. Photo by Laurel Chor/Getty Images

The year of the mass uprising has collided with the year of the coronavirus lockdown, leaving protest movements around the world stalled. 

The big picture: The enduring images of 2019 are of protest — from Hong Kong to Khartoum, across the Middle East and through much of Latin America. Seemingly overnight, though, social distancing has made such mass demonstrations almost unthinkable.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health