Top Apple Stock News: New AI to scan photo libraries to flag child abuse material
Apple Stock News: Last Friday Apple announced two new programs being developed to scan user’s photo libraries in order to prevent communication of child sexual abuse material. The first being a scanner introduced in further IOS and iPadOS updates that will allow Apple to detect known Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) within iCloud Photos. However, the company claims it is “designed with user privacy in mind” and instead of scanning images on the cloud, it will be on-device where the algorithm will match user photos with a database provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). If a match is detected, the system will tag the picture with encrypted data and send it to Apple for manual review, where it will disable the user’s account and send a report to the NCMEC.
The second program the company is unveiling will scan texts using the Messages app from users under 17 years old. Instead of trying to find matches with known images containing CSAM, this program will implement machine learning to try and spot explicit images. For kids ages 13-17 it will be a mere notification asking permission to see the photo, however for kids under that age range will have their parents contacted.
AirPods tackling respiratory health and general fitness
Apple is releasing a new feature to their AirPods 3 and possibly their other AirPod products. In a new research study, in combination with Cornell University, the company claims it will use machine learning to be able to estimate respiratory rate through breath audio from its line of wearable headphones. Not only will the iPhone be able to track basic health metrics like how many steps you take but it will now be able to record your breathing behavior under “natural ambient conditions both indoors and outdoors“. The research study monitored 21 individual adults who went through a 20 minute workout including pre and post cooldowns and concluded that respiratory rate can be estimated with a fairly high correlation and demonstrates that audio can be used as a viable way to passively record it. This is important because respiratory rate changes can measure cardio-respiratory fitness and over time track disease progression. This low-cost method of tracking health can be applied across the millions who have bought Apple AirPods.
Foxconn’s Quarterly profits remain high, but expects pandemic slowdown
Apple’s main suppler Foxconn which assembles its iPhones, reported a 30% surge in quarterly profit on Thursday. Net earnings are $ 1.1 billion USD and revenue is up 20% year to year. The company also reported that in Q3 2021 revenue would have a 3 – 15% increase per cent when compared to 2020. However, the electronic manufacturer cautioned the risk of supply chain disruption due to a resurgence of Covid-19, “The pandemic appears to be expanding again in Asia. We will do everything we can to contain its impact in our operations, but since Asia is a key manufacturing base for electronic components, we have to see,” stated Young Liu. Apple last month reported that a slowdown in chip creation would start to hit iPhone production and with the release of the iPhone 13 in September there may be trouble for Apple for the rest of 2021.