Apple CEO Tim Cook to address 2017 graduates at MIT

Nichole Vega
June 10, 2017

While he did not speak directly as to what insights Apple was able to provide, he implied that the metadata of user communications is information that could come in handy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday warned graduates at MIT, a pioneer in fields like computers and robots, about technology's dehumanizing aspects and urged them to infuse its development with their own values.

Although Cook said that no details about the cooperation could be revealed, he did say that the government of the United States is being facilitated, through a "lawful process", with the data stored on the company's servers that could help track down the suspects of terror attacks, which have been plaguing the country for quite some time now. "I can not speak on detail on that".

Cook added that while he could not give further details, Apple provided the information promptly once the lawful process is followed. In the last three months, there have been three attacks that have led the government to take stringent steps in order to curb the violent extremism, which is being hailed to be the reason behind the attacks. Five people were killed in a auto and knife attack on London's Westminster Bridge in March.

Cook also said he didn't join any of U.S. President Donald Trump's business advisory councils because he thinks those groups aren't "terribly productive". Last year, Apple had a major row with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was seeking information on a California gunman who had an iPhone. "Metadata, if you're putting together a profile, is very important", said Cook.

"The reality is that cyberattacks on people and governments - these affect your safety and security", he added. Trump decided last week to pull the USA out of the pact.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review conducted a few hours after the meeting with Picard, Cook ticks off a list: image recognition in our photos, for example, or the way Apple Music learns from what we have been listening to and adjusts its recommendations accordingly. "What we've tried to do is build something that is breakthrough speaker first", said Cook, responding to a question about why people should buy the $349 HomePod over Amazon's cheaper Echo.

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