Apple Buys An AI Based Startup FOr $200 MIllion

apple takes over turi

Apple made an interesting acquisition as it bought out machine learning company Turi. The Seattle-based startup was reportedly valued around $200 million by Apple, however, no confirmations were made regarding the price or the purpose of the takeover in typical Apple fashion.

It is no surprise that Apple is looking increase its proficiency in machine learning since that is where the next expected shake out between the big players is expected to be. Apple, which reportedly fields close to a billion inquiries per day on Siri, would want to utilize Turi’s machine learning chops to make its digital assistant smarter.

Siri was the first natural language AI to the market but has since lagged behind its competitors like Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. A part of the reason behind this was believed to be the manner in which Apple collects information or rather declines to do so in the name of privacy.

AI is also going to be at the center of the IoT revolution. Everything from cars to toasters is going to be connected to the internet and be controllable via a central device. Amazon is positioning its wireless speaker, the Echo, with Alexa built in as that device, while Google is also developing a similar device to power the new class of devices.

Apple actually has a head start on all of its competitors with its HomeKit standard that puts Siri as the interface through which all the myriad of compatible devices can be connected. It is an interesting approach, but not one that has paid off for Apple right now.

At its last developer conference, Apple finally opened up Siri to developers and gave them the tools that they need to integrate Apple’s AI into their products.

A statement from Apple regarding their acquisition of Turi said: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Apple has by far the largest war chest among all of the technology companies and now that it is increasingly under pressure from falling iPhone sales, it may have to look at other categories to drive growth.

For a company that has made its fortune through the highest quality hardware and design is now clearly shifting focus and focusing on the software side of things.

 

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