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Apple Acquires AI Startup to Improve Siri



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,, Deep Fusion, Tuplejump, Laserlike, Voysis, Turi, and Perceptio.


Central African Republic Becomes First African Country To Adopt Bitcoin As Legal Tender 

The new bill provides a framework for use of cryptocurrencies in smart contracts, payments systems, online trade, and all electronic transactions alongside the CFA franc currency. 



Central African Republic Becomes First African Country To Adopt Bitcoin As Legal Tender

Bitcoin continued to garner attention globally as a national legal tender with Central African Republic becoming the latest suitor. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra signed the bill into law on Wednesday and his chief of staff Obed Namsio hailed the move as one that could forever change the economic fabric of a country that has been embroiled in rebel violence for many years now.

Namsio said the bill was supported by the president because it would improve the citizens’ status. He added it would open up new economic opportunities for the landlocked country. The new bill provides a framework for use of cryptocurrencies in smart contracts, payments systems, online trade, and all electronic transactions alongside the CFA franc currency. 

“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” he said. 

Traders will also be capable of paying taxes with crypto and the finance minister Gourna Zacko who introduced the bill, believes it will ease cross-border transfers that have become increasingly difficult to do. These transfers will now become very cheap. Citizens will also be capable of undertaking legal financial transactions in the mainstream financial realms using crypto, and without necessarily going through middlemen banks. Cryptocurrency exchanges will not be taxed.   

The bill has clauses that prescribe up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of between 100 million to 1 billion CFA francs for anyone who breaks the crypto law. 

With a per capita income of only 750 USD per year, the country is one of the poorest in the region and world as a result of years of conflicts and war. This is despite having a vast amount of gold and diamond reserves. 

The country would, however, have to pursue an aggressive Internet coverage agenda to make this plan effective. It currently has an Internet penetration rate of just 7.1 percent and 355,000 Internet users out of a total population of 4.97 million people.   

It is not clear if and how the new move would help alleviate the country’s ailing inflation or GDP. Inflation has increased from 2.7 percent in 2019 to 3.3 in 2021. The country’s GDP also flipped to the negative last year at -0.6 from a 3.1 in 2019. Despite relying heavily on agriculture and mining, illegal gold and diamond exports undermine government revenue. The country is also embroiled in bad political and economic decisions, conflicts, and insecurity.  

The bill that governs use of cryptocurrency as legal tender in the country was unanimously adopted by the parliament last week. However, the move was not approved by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) which governs the Central African CFA franc regional currency used by the country and about 14 others. The franc is tied to the Euro and largely controlled by the West. Two ministers said the move to adopt Bitcoin as a national currency was a serious offense. 

The move was also criticized by former Prime Minister Martin Ziguele who said it was not a priority for the country, and that it was undermining the CFA franc. The decision could also be challenged in court by some legislators.      

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Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson wants to work with Elon Musk to develop a decentralized social media platform



Cardano's Charles Hoskinson wants to work with Elon Musk to develop a Decentralized social media platform

The Founder of Cardano (ADA) has invited Tesla owner and billionaire, Elon Musk, to work with him in developing the first decentralized social media platform. Charles Hoskinson, who also doubles up as the CEO of Input-Output Global is offering to help Elon Musk achieve his goal of free speech on social media.

The news follows Elon Musk’s acquisition of a stake in Twitter last week. The Billionaire bought 9.2% of Twitter, estimated at $2.89 Billion, and was even offered a seat on the micro-blogging site’s board. However, after deliberations, Elon passed on the offer since it would bar him from owning beyond a certain threshold of Twitter’s shares.

Free speech advocate

Elon Musk is on record for being a passionate supporter of free speech and open internet policies. He has in the past openly accused Twitter of muzzling free speech and open internet use. He recently held a poll that indicated that most users would prefer an edit button on Twitter and said that if he is not allowed to acquire the platform, he would have to reconsider his position as a major shareholder of Twitter.

To actualize this cause, he has offered to acquire the platform for a reported fee of $43 Billion in cash. This intended acquisition has left his critics and supporters talking and would go a long way in helping him bring much-needed changes to Twitter. His intention has however come under fire with his critics, including Dogecoin co-founder, Jackson Palmer saying that Elon Musk is planning a hostile takeover of Twitter. 

Hoskinson’s offer to Elon Musk

Upon seeing the opposition against Elon Musk’s plan, Hoskinson wooed Elon to join him in creating a decentralized social media platform. He tweeted:

“@Elon if Twitter rejects your offer, then hit me up. Happy to build a decentralized one.”

This offer follows Elon Musk’s Twitter poll where he sought the opinion of his 80 million followers about a decentralized social media platform. He posited that were he to be barred from acquiring Twitter, he would establish his decentralized platform that would be founded on free speech and open internet.

Elon Musk’s campaign for free speech and open internet has not been welcomed by all. Some of his critics have argued that coating his move with good intentions, his true intention is to get revenge against the SEC for muzzling his Twitter activities.

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