At Apple WWDC 2016, Tim Cook needs to make big data, AI pivot

“Apple needs to change its attitude and approach to customer data, back away from the big data corner it has painted itself into, and use its upcoming World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) to lay out some sort of artificial intelligence vision,” Larry Dignan writes for ZDNet. “Amazon has Alexa and its Echo. Google has Home, Assistant and a bevy of other services. Microsoft has Cortana. Meanwhile, Apple has its long-in-the-tooth Siri that reportedly will be opened up to third party developers.”

“Over the last two years, Apple has dug its heels in on privacy, vilified ad models to some degree and knocked Silicon Valley rivals (read Facebook and Google) for using customers as the products and collecting too much information,” Dignan writes. “In many ways, Apple in the Tim Cook era has been about privacy concerns and keeping customer data local.”

“As a customer, I commend Apple’s approach. As an Apple customer, I also realize that Apple may need to find some balance with its data practices if it’s going to compete in a market where artificial intelligence and big data enabled assistants are everywhere,” Dignan writes. “What should Apple do? Cook needs to walk the line between the company’s mantra on privacy and data and showing off some real AI toys for developers. Siri does need a brain transplant. Apple doesn’t have to be perfect, but needs to show it can hang with the Alexas, Facebook bots and Google Assistants of the world.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Simply let users decide, upfront, how much privacy they’ll cede in return for more functionality.

We take privacy extremely seriously. As an example we worry a lot about locations in phones. We worry that some 14 year old is gonna get stalked or something terrible is going to happen because of our phone…Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for. In plain English. And repeatedly. That’s what it means. I’m an optimist. I believe people are smart, I think some people want to share more data than other people do. Ask them. Ask them every time. — Steve Jobs


  1. There’s no question that Siri has been completely outclassed by competitors. Apple has, as now become expected, fallen behind while more nimble companies plow ahead and expand their technologies.

    It’s going to more, much much more, than a Tim Cook speech at WWDC to get Apple started toward being an industry leader again.

    1. Apple tends to release more mature products than the competitors. Everyone else throws stuff on to make a splash but without the new features really working. TouchID is a great example of a well thought out feature.
      Amazon and Google’s efforts will not really go anywhere and primarily there to sell stuff, whether it be data or products.
      Apple will release something similar if they see a compelling need for it and if they can make a product that will really work.
      Expanding Siri onto the Mac would be great and they need to improve on homekit.

    2. Do you actually have a job… oh I forgot this trolling IS your job. You might at least be entertaining mind, like some of your predecessors at least did. Playing the same broken record really doesn’t do the job you know, it just reveals the very limited IQ… even for a bot.

    3. Fair enough Birdseed. This is clearly a Kick-Apple-In-The-Butt moment where the wonders of competition have created the incentive for Apple to undo the damage they did to Siri and take its progress FAR more seriously. Siri isn’t some iApp that can be neglected, then utterly changed on a whim, broken then rebuilt again. Siri has to just work, every moment of the day, AND get better onward into the future as users theoretically come to depend upon it more and more, while our human cultures and language keep changing.

      IOW: Excellent insight.

  2. What nonsense!!

    Apple Inc. is already working with IBM & their ‘Watson’ Analytics capability to bring this to Industrial verticals all over the world; over 100 apps for iOS devices have already been written & are being deployed, delivering easy to use front end analytic capability via the iPhone and iPad. IBM reckon that within a few years, everyone will be relying on Watson analytics in a big way for every day decision making.

    Leave it up to Google and Amazon to mine your private thoughts at home with the ‘friendly’ sounding Alexa and similarly with Google’s Home; allows them to built up an even more complete picture of you and your family, allows the kids to order what they want on Amazon, because they will for sure become way more conversant with this technology than you … absolutely fantastic (only problem is you will pay for it!!) … and then of course, lest we forget, you are the product, so your every more will be sold to the highest bidder for them to bombard you with ‘offers you can’t refuse’. What a great world AI (Absolute Insanity) will deliver!!

    1. If the ‘expert system’ that is Watson Analytics has a contribution to make to the Siri system, let’s get it out there in public Apple!

      Meanwhile, there’s very little Siri envy and lots of very useful embarrassment being shoved on Apple for having both corroded and neglected the core competency of the Siri system. It’s incentive! It’s a call for action! We’ll benefit we’ll have when Apple gets in gear! 😀

  3. AI like VR is not mature for Apple.

    If Facebook and Google claim their AI as distinctive, for me they’re just big time data mining into our privacy.

    Is this the futur of AI? I know 2 potential clients by the name of NSA or FBI.

    For the consumer? Offers? More spending? Act now and $ave?Nothing really worthy.

  4. People should watch Elon Musk interview at the Code Conference. His concerns over AI were alarming. Nice to know he is trying to protect us by developing Open AI.

  5. The MDN take is the very obvious and very logical one on this matter. Presently quite clearly the masses really don’t care about privacy as stupid as that may seem and it isn’t going to get any easier competing while caring about that.

  6. The rising tide of dissatisfaction amongst Apple users reflects Apple’s increasing inability to maintain and improve its products, particularly the Mac and Mac apps.

    Corporations become more inefficient as they grow. Perhaps Apple has grown beyond its capacity to manage itself.

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