Apple acquires artificial intelligence startup Turi
Apple is upping the ante on artificial intelligence (AI). The smartphone giant has reportedly acquired AI startup Turi for $200 million.
According to a report in GeetWire, “The acquisition reflects a larger push by Apple into artificial intelligence and machine learning. It also promises to further increase the Cupertino, California-based company’s presence in the Seattle region, where Apple has been building an engineering outpost for the past two years.”
In a statement Apple told GeekWire, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Incidentally, this is Apple’s standard reply to queries regarding acquisitions made by the company.
Seattle-based Turi offers machine learning tools. “Turi toolkits simplify development of machine learning models. Each incorporates automatic feature engineering, model selection, and machine learning visualizations specific to the application,” says the company on its website.
Apple has also acquired some other machine learning and AI-related startups in recent months like VocalIQ, Emotient and Perceptio.
The company uses artificial intelligence to power its Google Now and Microsoft Cortana-rival Siri. The iPhone maker, however, is also said to be working on some other AI-based initiatives too.
Over the last few months, there appears to be a race among IT giants to grab AI startups. Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and many other IT companies have increased their focus on artificial intelligence. The companies are said to be making big investments in the technology.
There have been several big acquisitions in the area in 2016. Last month, Google acquired Moodstocks, a Paris-based startup that develops machine learning-based image recognition technology for smartphones.
Just weeks earlier, Twitter acquired Magic Pony to advance its machine learning capabilities.