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Apple losing out AI race to Google, Amazon: Report

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Apple losing out AI race to Google, Amazon: Report

November 3, 2017, 10:32 IST: Essentially a hardware-focused firm, Apple is falling behind in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) race with Google and Amazon racing ahead while embracing the open-source and collaborative approach in the emerging field of AI, Fortune reported.

According to Mohanbir Sawhney, McCormick Foundation professor of technology at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, sheets of glass are simply no longer the most fertile ground for innovation.

“That means Apple urgently needs to shift its focus and investment to AI-driven technologies, as part of a broader effort to create the kind of ecosystem Amazon and Google are building quickly,” Sawhney wrote in Fortune.

According to him, Apple has reached its peak with “super premium” iPhone X and “does not represent the beginning of the next 10 years of the smartphone, as Apple claims”. Apple launched the iPhone X globally. Players pursue innovation along a vector of differentiation until the vector runs out of steam.

“When that happens, the focus of innovation shifts to a different vector and new market leaders emerge. We have seen this pattern several times in mobile phone innovation over the past three decades,” Sawhney said.

he vector of differentiation is now shifting from hardware to AI and AI-based software and agents.

“As AI-driven phones like Google’s Pixel 2 and virtual agents like Amazon Echo proliferateaToday’s smartphones will likely recede into the background,” he stressed.

Google Pixel phones offers great photo-enhancement features and deeper hardware-software integration driven by AI-based technology. The second edition of Pixel features 5-inch display, 4GB RAM, 12MP rear and 8MP front camera, and 2,700mAH battery. Google will bring Pixel 2 XL (6-inch display) into the Indian market from November 15 onwards.

The Amazon Echo enables natural conversations through the Alexa virtual agent.

“Apple has only to look at Motorola, Nokia, and Blackberry to understand how quickly a leader can fall from the peak in this market, and do its best to avert this outcome,” Sawhney added. (IANS)

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Google Remove Stalker Apps That were Available on its Play Store

In April, Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious. In 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has removed seven stalker apps that were available on its Play Store as apps for children’s safety or finding stolen phones but were being used to stalk employees, romantic partners or kids.

The apps were able to track the surveilled person’s location, collect their contacts, SMS and call history.

Mobile threat researchers at anti-virus company Avast detected the apps on Google Play Store that were all likely designed by a Russian developer.

Avast reported these apps to Google which then removed them from the Play Store.

The apps have been installed a combined 130,000 times, with the most-installed apps being Spy Tracker, and SMS Tracker, both with more than 50,000 installs.

“These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store,” Nikolaos Chrysaidos, Avast’s head of mobile threat intelligence and security, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“They promote criminal behaviour, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. We classify such apps as stalkerware,” he added.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

It’s hard to tell if your device has stalkerware installed on it as you will not see an app icon on your smartphone.

The apps require the person to have access to the phone they want to spy on. The person can download the apps from the Google Play Store and install them on the target device.

The app then prompts the person who installed the app to enter their email address and password. The spying app is sent there.

“Upon setup, there is no app icon, so the targeted person does not see any sign of the stalkerware app installed on their phone,” said Avast.

For example, the description of “Spy Tracker” app on Google Play read: “Find out more about your child’s life, interests, friends and plans. Parents are responsible for every step that their kids make. So this app is created to monitor them and protect them from dangers that can be revealed via cell phone.”

Also Read: Space Exploration Critical for our Survival, Says Jeff Bezos

According to SMS Tracker, “our app will help you monitor work time of your employees to save time and save money. Notify the users of work phones that you are going to install the app. It will teach your employees to use their time at work wisely, to reduce time spent on messengers and arrive to work in time”.

In April, Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said it would start flagging stalkerware as malicious. In 2018, it detected stalkerware on 58,487 mobile devices. (IANS)