“It’s the simple bargain that made companies like Google and Facebook into giants: in exchange for the convenience of running your life from a smartphone, you hand over gobs of data on your every activity. It zips up into the cloud where algorithms do… well it’s hard to be exactly sure, but everyone’s at it,” Tom Simonite writes for Wired. “Oh, except Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple. As usual.

“You can see the logic here. Apple makes its money selling gadgets, not targeting ads,” Simonite writes. “But Cook’s steadfast aversion to the cloud presents a challenge as Apple tries to build up new features powered by machine learning and AI. To build and run machine learning services you need computing power and data, and the more you have of each the more powerful your software can be. The iPhone is beefy as mobile device goes, and it’s a good bet Apple will add dedicated hardware to support machine learning. But it’s tough for anything it puts in your hand to compete with a server—particularly one using Google’s custom machine learning chip.”

“Local processing works great for many things, but if you want to push the envelope it’s hard for a mobile device to outsmart cloud AI, says Eugenio Culurciello, a professor at Purdue University who works on hardware to accelerate machine learning,” Simonite writes. “The most direct way to build a smart new thing to work on your customers’ data, is to use lots and lots of that same data to train it, says Chris Nicholson, CEO of Skymind, a startup which helps companies use machine learning. ‘The more data you have the more valuable your thing gets,’ he says. ‘Google, Amazon and others are benefiting from that and Apple is not.’ It’s also easier to continuously update neural networks in the cloud, so they’re always improving, than it is to push updates to ones that reside in people’s pockets, says Nicholson. Apple has started using a technology called differential privacy to pull in some anonymized data on how people use their phones, such as your favorite emoji, but it’s unclear how broadly that can be applied.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We bet that Apple’s AI staff will find innovative ways of competing while preserving user privacy. The more people are educated about unchecked data collection and the more who value their privacy, the better Apple’s sales will be. Today, it’s literally Apple against the world.

People who value privacy and security use Apple products.MacDailyNews, September 12, 2015

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