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Dow Jones collapses as IBM quits facial recognition, Apple to unveil custom Mac chip


After a long rally motivated in part by the optimism surrounding the reopening of the US economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^ DJI) gave ground on Tuesday. The Dow was down about 0.9% as of 10:45 a.m. EDT.

Actions of International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) Underperformed after the company announced it was pulling out of the facial recognition business over ethical concerns. During this time, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) the stock managed to win following a report that the tech giant will reveal a custom chip for its Mac computers later this month.

IBM takes a stand on facial recognition

IBM is a major player in the artificial intelligence market. The company claimed a 9.2% share of the global artificial intelligence market in 2018, according to IDC data, making it the leader in a $ 28 billion industry.

Image source: Getty Images.

While AI is a critical growth area for IBM, the company won’t put growth ahead of ethics. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna sent a letter to Congress on Monday announcing that the company had completely withdrawn from the facial recognition business.

“IBM no longer offers IBM general purpose facial recognition or analysis software. IBM strongly opposes and will not condone the use of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, human rights violations and abuses. fundamental freedoms, or any other objective that is not in accordance with our values ​​and our principles of trust and transparency, ”the letter read.

CNBC reported that IBM’s facial recognition business was not a major source of revenue for the company, but that the U.S. government was a major customer. Krishna’s letter also included specific policy proposals related to police reform and education programs.

IBM stock was down about 2.9% on Tuesday morning. Shares of the tech giant have now slipped about 17% from their 52-week high.

Apple could launch custom Mac chips this month

Apple has long designed its own chips for the iPhone and iPad, and these chips have helped Apple keep its mobile devices at the top of the performance charts. Smartphones have been powered largely by chips based on the ARM instruction set since the devices first appeared, and Apple’s chips are no different.

In the PC market, both Intelligence (NASDAQ: INTC) and Advanced micro-systems design chips based on the x86 instruction set. Apple Mac computers currently use Intel chips, and the macOS operating system and all software that runs on Macs is compiled and optimized for x86. For this reason, switching to an ARM-based custom chip for Mac is not a straightforward matter, requiring developer buy-in and possibly some form of emulation for older applications.

Despite the challenges, Apple plans to move away from Intel. Bloomberg said on Tuesday that Apple will announce its new Mac processor at its annual developer conference, which begins later this month. Macs using the new processor, which is based on the processor Apple uses for its iPhone and iPad, will be available in 2021 as part of the plan. New Macs will still run the macOS operating system, not Apple’s mobile-only iOS operating system.

It can take years for Apple to wean itself off completely from Intel, especially when it comes to high-end Mac devices, which require world-class performance. But the move will give Apple even more control over its devices. Apple shares were up about 1.5% in the morning.

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