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Apple Acquires AI Startup to Improve Siri

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Apple Acquires AI Startup to Improve Siri

In the race for new and improved virtual assistance services, Apple is once again, yet to take the lead through its acquisition of the Ontario-based machine learning startup – Inductiv. The brains behind Inductiv include professors from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Waterloo – in the persons of Christopher Ré, Theodoros Rekatsinas, and Ihab Ilyas. This band of Engineering professors is the latest supplement to Apple’s development team in addition to the company’s myriad of Engineers from Silicon Valley, slated to work on the Siri among other things. Apparently, this team of professors would be working on the AI, Machine learning, and data science section of the company – an important aspect of Apple’s deep learning strategy. In a statement provided by Apple’s spokesperson, the deal has been sealed and stamped. The representative further confirmed the deal with a rather unapologetic tune, asserting that it;

“buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” 

The idea of virtual assistance is to make life a lot easier as these software agents make it easiest to navigate between the software and programs of an operating system. Inductiv has been focused on developing technologies that utilize machine learning to automate a hassle-free procedure of identifying and correcting erratic datasets in the past. Evidently, having authentic data is key to ensuring a seamless and robust AI functionality which is why AI and data science are essential to a machine learning ecosystem. Through deep Learning and AI, these virtual assistive technologies could be programmed to automate certain processes that would normally require human interaction. By this, you can make your assistant do your phone’s tasks for you – such as make your calls, send important emails, and even entertain you during your leisure time, while you just sit back and relax. 

Although, Apple’s senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI Strategy – John Giannandrea, has indicated the company’s interest to work on a few improvements with regards to Siri and other AI-powered products from the company. However, the iPhone maker has drastically slacked in the niche of virtual assistance in recent times. Giving way for other competitors such as Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa. According to research conducted a couple of years ago by Forbes, Siri ranked number 4 on the top 10 list of virtual assisting technologies for mobile and still is at present.

Apparently, this comes as a huge blow on the overall image of Apple’s technological growth, given that Siri was the pioneer software in the sphere of voice-controlled assistive technology. Since it provided the prototype from which other virtual assisting apps borrowed their ideas. Little wonder why Apple has been acquiring a host of AI-related startup companies in most recent times including NextVR,  Xnor.ai, Deep Fusion, Tuplejump, Laserlike, Voysis, Turi, and Perceptio.

Cryptocurrency

Crypto Researchers Concerned About The ‘Centralized Structure’ Of The Binance Smart Chain

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Crypto Researchers Concerned About The 'Centralized Structure' Of The Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain has been rising in popularity as interest rates from different parts of the world, including South Korea, sent the network’s transaction records to new highs. However, this has not deterred analysts’ from pointing out the increasing level of centralization within the network. Ryan Watkins, a Messari analyst recently addressed the influence that Binance has on the entire Binance Smart Chain, explaining that most of the commendable progress made on the network is not the result of the implementation of innovative concepts. Rather, it is a product of Binance’s control over the BSC network.

“The reason why BSC is faster and more scalable is not because of some magical technological innovation. No, it’s instead the magic of centralization. BSC is an Ethereum fork with a centralized validator set. That’s it. Nothing more.” He wrote on Twitter.

Unlike some other networks, the Binance Smart Chain has a total of 21 validators (people who verify the transactions and confirm their legitimacy, before adding them to the Blockchain). These validators are handpicked by the Binance Chain, further strengthening the notion that the network may be more centralized than it shows itself to be. 

Wilson Withiam rolls out some points to consider, starting with the pattern of resetting active validators, which is determined by the voting power of each validator. He notes that BNB staking and delegation is carried out on the Binance Chain, by Binance Chain validators as well.

In essence, Withiam argues that the pattern of validator distribution across the Binance Smart Chain is questionable as the identities of those behind the nodes in the validator sets are not made transparent. As he puts it “BSC now supports several third-party validators, although at least 5-6 others have close ties to Binance. The distribution of validator accounts is far less clear for Binance Chain.”

To dispute that Binance’s user experience is not ahead of other networks is false, and Withiam agrees with this. Even Watkins acknowledges this as he noted that BSC has fueled mainstream adoption of DeFi “Binance has incredible reach and influence and has used that to funnel a boatload of new users in DeFi. Binance executes period. That’s why BSC is winning.” He asserted. 

However, he argues that speed and scalability outside Ethereum without sharding or a centralization can only be legitimately found on the Solana Blockchain. Conclusively, Withiam urges BSC users to poke into the network, enough to understand where the loopholes are. 

“For those using BSC, take the time to understand the topology of the network. Sure, the fees and speed (both UX factors) are undoubtedly preferable. But strong censorship resistance and fault tolerance are not part of the package.” He wrote in conclusion.

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Elon Musk Promises to Literally Take Dogecoin to the Moon with SpaceX

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Elon Musk Promises to Literally Take Dogecoin to the Moon with SpaceX

Elon Musk spiked the price of Dogecoin by 3% after tweeting that SpaceX will take the meme-themed cryptocurrency to the literal moon.

“SpaceX is going to put a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon.”

Traders often use the term “to the moon” when expecting prices of a certain stock or digital currency to surge.

Elon Musk is a self-appointed Dogecoin and Bitcoin advocate and frequently tweets witty statements about the Japanese dog Shibu Inu, the central appeal and logo of the meme-themed cryptocurrency. The last time tweeted about Dogecoin was in mid-March:

“I’m getting a Shiba Inu #restistanceisfutile.”

The tweet also comes a month after Elon tweeted a meme of a Shiba Inu standing on the moon in a spacesuit while holding a Dogecoin flag, followed by the words, “literally” and “on the actual moon.”

Elon Musk and Dogecoin

Elon’s ability to influence bitcoin and Dogecoin’s price actions by merely tweeting about it has been both acclaimed and criticized for boosting crypto adoption and hindering mainstream acceptance, respectively.

Dogecoin has a total circulating supply of 129 billion Doge and an undefined maximum supply, unlike Bitcoin. Analysts including Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao have warned investors against exposing themselves to assets with infinite amounts of supply.

However, Elon’s influence and Dogecoin’s price action in the past 6 months have inspired its developers to revamp its development. Speaking during an interview, Dogecoin’s lead developer Ross Nicoll said the team is working to make changes to Doge.

“People say it’s a joke coin but we’re very careful to take care of the code. When it took off there was a resurgence in attention and we want to keep the currency operational.” 

SpaceX was founded in 2002 with the goal of reducing the cost of space transportation by using relaunchable rockets to enable the colonization of Mars.  The company’s first commercial trip around the moon on its Starship rocket will take place in 2023.

Elon Musk previously said that he is highly confident that SpaceX will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023, and that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023.

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