Apple and IBM match-make Watson and Core ML power couple

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Watson Services for Core ML let enterprise customers take their AI anywhere.

Watson is IBM’s artificial intelligence service. You may remember it from Jeopardy. Core ML is Apple’s machine learning integration framework. It’s been called the PDF of AI. Bring them both together, and what do you get? An easy way for IBM and Apple customers to have the data models they need on the devices that are always with them.

From Apple Developer News:

Discover new ways to build intelligence into your iOS apps. With IBM Watson Services for Core ML, it’s easy to build apps that access powerful Watson capabilities right from iPhone and iPad, so you can provide dynamic, intelligent insights that improve over time. Your apps can quickly analyze images, accurately classify visual content, and easily train models using Watson Services.

From IBM News:

Watson services on the IBM Cloud provide rich and relevant insights from a variety of public and enterprise data sources to applications. IBM’s approach to data and privacy with Watson ensures that client data and insights are not shared with IBM or third parties, and that client data does not contribute to training a centralized knowledge graph.

Apple’s Core ML is a foundational machine learning (ML) framework that lets you integrate ML models into your app. Core ML delivers optimized performance for Apple products with minimal memory footprint and battery consumption impact. User privacy is protected as data is stored locally and encrypted by default.

It reads like a great fit. Watson and Core ML are complementary services for enterprise customers. It let’s IBM’s data models be where people want and need them, and it shows the continued momentum of Core ML as the common deployment interface for AI in apps.

It’s also great from a privacy point of view: Both Apple and IBM have repeatedly said and shown that they want customer data to remain customer data, not feed their own advertising models in a not-yours cloud.

Be interesting to see how this develops.

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Couple Seeks $600K from Apple After ‘Faulty’ iPhone Burned Down Their Business

We’ve covered a seemingly countless number of reports in which Apple’s iPhone has been accused of sparking fires — in some instances, causing grave bodily harm to those caught in the fray. But the latest incident of an iPhone 6 gone up-in-flames, which took place back in 2016, is arguably the most heart wrenching among […]
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IFTTT has added a Cortana channel, plus a couple of other services

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Over the past week, IFTTT has added 3 new channels to its hundreds of supported services for smart integrations and automations. Two of them are little known: SURY Assistant and ELA Smart Lighting, but the third one is quite important: Cortana.

Like the Google Assistant and Alexa channels, the new Cortana one has dozens of applets you can instantly try, as well as 4 triggers available: say a specific phrase, say a phrase with number, say a phrase with text, say a phrase with number and text.

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IFTTT has added a Cortana channel, plus a couple of other services was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Ford expands its mobility empire with a couple of acquisitions

Ford Motor Company announced today that it was acquiring two transportation software companies, Autonomic and TransLoc. It also announced it would be reorganizing its mobility subsidiary in a bid to accelerate the delivery of new products, like microtransit services and self-driving cars. The news comes as the automaker’s stocks remained stagnant despite a raft of high-profile announcements during CES and the Detroit Auto Show about its investment in mobility services and electric cars.

Ford didn’t disclose the sum of the acquisitions, but did say the two startups would help develop the automaker’s forthcoming Transportation Mobility Cloud, an open-sourced platform for cities and other transportation partners. Ford said it would expand…

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CEO: Ethereum Could Challenge Credit Card Companies In “A Couple of Years”

Taking on Financial Institutions

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is optimistic about the future of his blockchain platform, sharing his predictions during a talk with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF 2017 event on September 18.

Despite the growing popularity of Ethereum and other technologies like it, a large majority of people still don’t know what blockchain is or what it does. However, once the technology does reach the mainstream, Buterin believes it will be able to take business away from major credit card companies. He sees this shift potentially taking place in the next “couple of years.”

Before Ethereum can compete with the likes of Visa and MasterCard, though, the platform will need to speed up. “Bitcoin is processing a bit less than 3 transactions per second,” Buterin explained to Ravikant. “Ethereum is doing five a second. Uber gives 12 rides a second. It will take a couple of years for the blockchain to replace Visa.”

According to Business Insider, the co-founder said he expects to see low-security financial prototypes revealed within the next year, which may signal the beginning of Ethereum’s ability to disrupt mainstream finance. That said, a few more years will be needed before their effectiveness can be proven.

From Finance to Cloud Computing

Buterin’s thoughts on the capabilities of blockchain extend beyond finance and into the world of cloud computing. While he believes Ethereum has a solid chance at changing the financial world, Buterin is less optimistic about its effect on cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Those services are often used by private companies to host proprietary content (think Netflix’s data), and convincing them of the security of Ethereum’s decentralized network could be difficult. “In general, there’s always going to be this large set of applications where decentralized approaches don’t work that well,” Buterin said.

Expect Ethereum to continue to be embraced by other corporations, however. In the last two months alone, a Russian airline used Ethereum to issue tickets, and Microsoft released their own Ethereum-based protocol. The platform may not impact every aspect of society, but it’s certainly checking quite a few off the list.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post CEO: Ethereum Could Challenge Credit Card Companies In “A Couple of Years” appeared first on Futurism.

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7 reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 8/8 Plus (and a couple not to)

So you have an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and after yesterday’s keynote you are unsure if there’s any reason to switch to the iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. Or maybe you’re just looking to find how much of an upgrade the new models are. Either way you’ve come to the right place. We went through all differences between the new iPhone 8 Plus and found 7 solid ones to justify an upgrade over the 2016 to the 2017 iPhones. Design The iPhone 8 Plus has an all new glass back and one new color option. Apple promises that its new Ion-strengthened glass is the toughest yet on a…

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‘Just Cause’ and ‘Hitman Sniper’ Make a Great Couple in Latest Update

Hitman Sniper [$ 0.99] continues to be a very entertaining game, and the constant updates with new events and new weapons certainly haven’t hurt the game. It’s actually great to see how well this game has been supported, even though it’s been out for quite a few years. The latest update is one of the most entertaining ones because it blends the seriousness of Hitman Sniper with the craziness that is the Just Cause series. Specifically, this new update allows you to get the Final Argument Rifle for free, and that weapon is a ton of fun. Instead of just letting you shoot people in the head, which is what you do most of the time in Hitman Sniper, this weapon lets you tether enemies to walls, objects, or even other guards, which introduces plenty of silly moments.

And that’s not all. You can even shoot sticky rocket mines on guards and watch them fly all over the place. Stealth it might not be, but it’s definitely hilarious. Add to these special abilities how every object in the game now explodes when shot (because what kind of an action movie would this be if things didn’t explode), and you can see why the new update adds a fun and different way to play the game. The update is live now, and Just Cause-levels of silliness await for you.

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Missing couple discovered 75 years later in a melting Swiss glacier

Seventy-five years ago, a Swiss couple disappeared in the Alps after going to feed their cows. Their bodies were recently found in a melting glacier, “perfectly preserved” in World War II clothing, complete with identification papers.

The couple — Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin — lived near Chandolin in southwest Switzerland. They were 40 and 37, respectively, on the day they went missing. The couple had five sons and two daughters.

Their youngest child is Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, who is now 79. She told Le Matin, a Swiss newspaper, that the kids “spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping.” After the disappearance, the children were split up and “became strangers,” Udry-Dumoulin added, but they continued to hope that…

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