Monday December 16, 2019
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Apple Gets a New AI Chief to Oversee Siri, Machine Learning

Apple has posted several job openings for AI/ML engineers at its different offices globally

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Apple
Top apps using Siri Shortcuts to make daily tasks easier: Apple. Pixabay

Revealing its future plans, Apple has formally announced to make ex-Google executive John Giannandrea its Chief of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

Reporting to CEO Tim Cook, Giannandrea who joined Apple in April will be in charge of Apple’s ML division, Siri and the Core ML team, the company updating its executive leadership page, said.

Giannandrea will look after further development of Core ML and Siri technologies. With Core ML, third-party developers can integrate trained ML models into their apps.

Prior to Apple, Giannandrea spent eight years at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research and Search teams. Before it, he co-founded two technology companies — Tellme Networks and Metaweb Technologies.

Apple chief
John Giannandrea, the Chief of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

At Google, Giannandrea took the role of Senior Vice President of Engineering from Amit Singhal in early 2016, signalling Google’s emphasis on weaving ML and AI into its Search engine.

According to media reports, Apple lags behind from Google and Amazon in key AI areas like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision needed to power voice assistant features in Siri.

Also Read: Apple Music On Lead Over Its Rival Spotify In All Market: Report

Apple has invested in Siri and HomeKit to compete with Google Home and Alexa-based smart home systems.

In 2017, Apple added an AI chip called Neural Engine to the A11 Bionic for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X to work with the Image Signal Processor (ISP).

Apple has posted several job openings for AI/ML engineers at its different offices globally. (IANS)

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Apple, Spotify Podcasts Now Availabe on Amazon Echo Lineup

With this, the Echo line up from Amazon becomes with the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay

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Amazon
It's also interesting that Apple is ceding some of its HomePod functionality to Amazon. Pixabay

Apple and Swedish streaming giant Spotify’s podcasts are now available on Amazon’s Echo line up of devices.

“Apple Podcasts can be set as the default podcast player from the Alexa app, too, so Amazon will default to checking Apple Podcasts first whenever a show is requested. Spotify also announced today that its users would be able to ask Alexa to play podcasts from its platform,” The Verge reported on Friday.

With this, the Echo line up from Amazon becomes with the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay.

It’s also interesting that Apple is ceding some of its HomePod functionality to Amazon.

The HomePod offers syncing with Apple Podcasts, which was unique and potentially a selling point. Now that anyone can access Apple Podcasts from any Alexa device, the HomePod is less special, the report added.

Amazon
Apple and Swedish streaming giant Spotify’s podcasts are now available on Amazon’s Echo line up of devices. Wikimedia Commons

Notably, Spotify Premium users were earlier able to use Spotify Connect to stream to Echo.

ALSO READ: Use of Smartphones in Bed Might Ruin Your Sex Life: Study

But now, the Swedish streaming giant says that both Free and Premium customers in the US will be able to ask Alexa for podcasts as well as set Spotify as their default player. (IANS)