Apple acquires Seattle-based AI company Xnor.ai
Apple has recently been making a push into artificial intelligence through Siri personal assistant and related technologies.Updated: Jan 16, 2020 16:48 IST
Apple Inc acquired Seattle-based artificial intelligence company Xnor.ai, bringing on more talent in a key area of technology.
The company, founded in 2016, had raised millions of dollars to build tools that help AI algorithms run on devices rather than remote data centers. In recent years, Apple has pushed to run this type of software on its devices to keep user information more private and speed up processing. The company paid about $200 million for Xnor.ai, according to GeekWire, which reported the deal earlier.
Apple didn’t comment on the price, but said that it buys “smaller technology companies from time to time” and generally does not discuss its plans.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” said Apple in a statement given to GeekWire.
A $200 million deal would put the purchase in the same ballpark as some other previous Apple AI deals, including the acquisitions of Turi. In recent months, Apple bought smartphone camera software company Spectral Edge and struck a deal with graphics company Imagination Technologies.
The employees brought to Apple in the Xnor.ai deal will likely be based in the company’s Seattle offices, which house hundreds of engineers working on AI. Apple uses AI across its software, allowing for search on devices and features like Siri.
Recently, Apple has acquired another Seattle-based machine learning startup Turi for almost same amount.
The move is set to increase Apple’s presence in the Seattle region where the tech giant has been building an engineering outpost. Turi offers tools that are meant to let developers easily scale machine learning applications.
The Cupertino-based company has recently bought some machine learning and AI startups like VocalIQ and Perceptio and facial recognition startup Emotient, among others.
Apple has recently been making a push into artificial intelligence through Siri personal assistant and related technologies.
(with inputs from IANS, Bloomberg)