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Apple teaching an AI system to make sense of app screens – could power advanced Siri

Ferret-UI could power advanced Siri | Concept image of Siri logo in thought bubble

An Apple research paper describes how the company has been developing Ferret-UI, a generative AI system specifically designed to be able to make sense of app screens.

The paper is somewhat vague about the potential applications of this – likely deliberately so – but the most exciting possibility would be to power a much more advanced Siri

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Jony Ive AI device could get $1B funding from Laurene Powell Jobs

Jony Ive AI device | Blue cube image

We first heard last year that former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman were working on some kind of AI hardware project. It was later reported that Tang Tan, Apple’s chief iPhone and Apple Watch designer, was also joining the project.

A report now suggests that the pair are now seeking a billion dollars in funding, and are in talks with Steve Jobs’ widow, founder and president of the Emerson Collective, Laurene Powell Jobs …

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Spotify AI Playlist joins AI DJ, to create playlists from text prompts

Spotify AI DJ now supports text prompts

Spotify’s AI DJ feature launched more than a year ago now, but users had little control over it. A new AI Playlist feature changes that for beta uses, as you can now create playlists from ChatGPT-style text prompts.

Spotify recommends specifying a combination of genres, moods, artists, and decades – but you can also try off-the-wall things like “beats to battle a zombie apocalypse” …

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Grok AI chatbot | Abstract image of masked figure against colorful background

Grok AI chatbot coming to all premium X subscribers this week

The Grok AI chatbot, which was previously going to be exclusive to X’s top-tier Premium+ subscribers, will instead be coming to all premium subscribers this week.

The move is likely geared to boosting revenue in the face of falling usage and an exodus of advertisers, but it’s leading some Premium+ subscribers to question what they are now getting for their money …

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Apple buying AI services from Chinese tech giant Baidu, say reports

Apple buying AI services from Chinese tech giant Baidu | Brain image against colorful background

Chinese media is reporting that Apple is buying AI services from local tech giant Baidu. The WSJ had earlier reported that the iPhone maker had been in discussions with the company, to use its AI smarts in iOS 18.

Baudi operates a ChatGPT-style LLM known as ERNIE Bot, which claims to “comprehend human intentions and deliver accurate, logical, and fluent responses approaching human level” …

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Sam Altman officially rejoins the OpenAI board after internal review, but mystery remains [U]

OpenAI mess resolved | Abstract image of brain over 3D OpenAI logo

The OpenAI mess was all but over as of last November, but there was one outstanding item: an official review into the actions of CEO Sam Altman. Update: The internal review is now complete, Altman has now been officially appointed to the board, with three new directors.

The board expressed full confidence in the leadership of Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, but the mystery of what led to his removal in the first place remains unsolved – more at the end …

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Eight ways AI accessibility features could turbo-boost the Apple experience

AI accessibility features could turbo-boost the Apple experience | Wheelchair user in the Chicago Marathon

Disability campaigner Colin Hughes has described eight ways that AI accessibility features could turbo-boost the experience of using Apple products this year.

Hughes – who is quadriplegic, and previously shared with us the ways in which Apple tech helps him in his daily life – is excited by the company’s focus on artificial intelligence

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Apple faces five shareholder proposals, and doesn’t like any of them

Apple faces five shareholder proposals | Illustrative photo of voting in a public meeting

Tomorrow is the date of Apple’s annual shareholder meeting, and the company this year faces five shareholder proposals – and recommends voting against all of them.

The company went as far as trying to exclude one of them, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled that it must be put to a vote …

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Apple Ask: Support staff reportedly testing AI tool to help answer your questions

Apple Ask | Call center staff

A limited number of Apple support staff are reportedly using an internal AI tool to help answer customer questions. The tool is reportedly known as Apple Ask.

The ChatGPT-style tool lets advisors paste in or paraphrase a support question, and the AI then searches Apple’s internal knowledge base to generate answers …

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Apple Keyframer generates AI animation from a still image and text prompt

Apple Keyframer generates AI animation | Illustrative cartoon character shown

Apple has announced an innovative new artificial intelligence tool which could enable anyone to create animations. Apple Keyframer is an AI animation generator that needs nothing other than a still image and a text instruction.

It comes just a few days after the company revealed MGIE, a way of editing photos using text commands

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Apple joins AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) at request of White House

AI Safety Institute Consortium | Illustration of AI chip on circuit board

Apple is one of more than 200 companies and other organisations to join the US AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC), at the request of the White House.

Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Nvidis are among the other companies to join the consortium in response to an executive order by President Biden to ensure that artificial intelligence is “safe, secure, and trustworthy” …

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Apple AI work continues: Editing photos using text commands

Editing photos using text | An example of Apple's MGIE output, making a sunset more red

Apple’s AI work may be something of a slow-burn when it comes to Siri, but the company isn’t sitting back doing nothing. The company has just released an open-source AI model for editing photos using simple text commands – something which has been described as a breakthrough achievement.

Named MGIE – for Multimodal large language model Guided Image Editing – the model allows the user to use natural language to tell the editor what it is you want to achieve …

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Zuckerberg’s AI announcement raises privacy and toxicity red flags

Zuckerberg's AI announcement | 3D representation of Meta logos

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s AI announcement has raised major concerns, after he said that the company had more user data than was used to train ChatGPT – and would soon be using it to train its own AI systems.

The company’s plan to use Facebook and Instagram posts and comments to train a competing chatbot raises concerns about both privacy and toxicity …

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Adobe unveils Firefly AI for Vision Pro with limited-time free text to image creation

Adobe Firefly and Lightroom Vision Pro

Adobe has announced that its popular generative AI app Firefly is coming to Vision Pro. The company says the experience is “purpose-built for visionOS” and will help users “bring their creative visions to life.” While the app usually costs generative credits, Adobe is making it free to use the text to image AI on Vision Pro until March.

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Next generation Siri likely to be launched in iOS 18, with ChatGPT style capabilities

Next generation Siri | Shown in use on iPhone

A next generation Siri version is set to be powered by a generative AI chatbot, with analysts expecting it to be launched with iOS 18, and announced at this year’s WWDC.

While Apple has been criticized for the way that Siri has lagged behind, a new report says that this is because the company is aiming to be far more ambitious than existing generative AI systems …

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Windows PCs will follow Mac example with ‘Neural Engines’ this year – Canalys

Neural Engine equivalents coming to Windows PCs | M3 chip line-up shown

While critics might say Apple is falling behind in the AI race, there’s one area where the Cupertino company has led the way: on-device AI processing using the Neural Engine in its iPhone, iPad, and Mac chips.

Market intelligence company says it expects Windows PC brands to follow Apple’s lead this year, putting their own equivalent of Neural Engine chips into high-end laptops this year …

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