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Good Guy Apple: Balancing AI And Privacy

Image result for WWDC 2018

So WWDC has come and gone ( Not really WWDC runs from the 4th of June all the way to the 8th). But the one mega-keynote we were all excited for is over! Trust me I am excited about iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave, which I will talk about all in good time but I think its time we took a good hard look at Apple's AI game.

The Apple Photos App

For the past few years Google and Facebook have been running circles around Apple when it comes to AI. Sure pick your favourite reason as to why Apple's AI has sucked for so long, from the internal power struggles to Apples own stance on privacy.

But the winds of change are upon us! Sure Siri probably still cant tell you how much a chipmunk weighs, but Apple has made some headway in certain areas of AI.


As I was watching the keynote, It struck me that the new Apple photos app felt really familiar. It groups faces you know and it has sharing suggestions, asking you if you want to share the photos you took with someone in the picture that you know.Yes we've all seen this in Google Photos, from the spontaneous videos that it throws at you to the sharing suggestions. The Apple photos app now can recognise scenes like weddings, concerts and whatever else you can think of!
Yes Apple has done what the Google photos app has been doing for years, or in more colloquial terms  "ripped off Google".
Google's AI has always been at the cutting edge of whats possible and well Apples has been sort of a joke. But with this we can see that Apple's starting to catch up.

AI Vs Privacy

AI and privacy have always been at each other's throats. For an AI system to be really good it has to have massive amounts of data to learn from, user data that is. Facebook and Google get around this by harvesting user data. As we've seen Apple cant do that. The fact that the Photos app is this good shows that Apple is finally starting to take AI seriously. Now I know that you're going to bring up Google Duplex and drop the "But the Google Assistant can make phone calls for you", Well thats a long way off. Sure They demoed it but they also demoed an obstruction removal feature for the Pixel camera back in 2017 which still hasn't seen the light of day. Duplex is way more complex and we haven't even seen the obstruction removal feature so I guess it'll take a while. Apple isn't completely out of the woods yet though don't get me wrong Siri still has a long way to go. But things are looking up!

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