Microsoft is using Cortana’s speech recognition intelligence to add dictation to the company’s Office suite. The new app is named Dictate and has been developed by Microsoft Garage, Microsoft’s experimental software outfit. Dictate is actually an add-on since it needs Office to even use it. Once the app is installed, it can make sense of what is spoken in Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The words are automatically transcribed into the selected text field.
The iPhone maker secured a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April to test three self-driving sports-utility vehicles, photos of which emerged several weeks later. In another instance, a letter written to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealing the company’s interest in automotive technology became public when published on a federal website.
In the past, Apple was not presumed to be in the race for machine learning and most of its later consumer products to use AI still play second fiddle to those produced by Google and Facebook. But the recent appointment of the firm’s first AI director, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, looks like a promise for change.
Though Apple is clearly working with sensors and AI software for autonomous vehicles, Cook’s description of Apple’s work on autonomous systems in the automotive sector appears to be vague. Cook doesn’t commit to what the result of all this work might look like. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do,” he said.
Apple is all in the car game but if it plans to commercialize autonomous vehicles, that remains to be seen.