Apple has acquired a machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi for a sum of $200 million. Previously known as GraphLab and Dato, the Seattle-based company has been established by Carlos Guestrin, the Amazon professor of machine learning at the University of Washington.
Turi was evolved from the GraphLab open-source project, which has been employed by companies such as Pandora to provide accurate recommendations.
Commenting on the acquisition, Apple revealed that the company buys out smaller companies regularly. However, we do not discuss the real purpose or plans among other parties. The statement also added that Google will integrate compelling technologies into their upcoming products.
While breaking the news, GeekWire, a Seattle-based tech news portal disclosed that the Cupertin0-based company will be paying $200 million to acquire Turi. However, there was no clarification when asked about whether the amount will be paid to the founder or Washington University.
Recently, Guestrin conducted a conference in the area in San Francisco, which attracted experts in the computer science from around the world.
The acquisition of Turi by Apple assumes great significance in the wake of several other companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are investing heavily in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
While Apple introduced Siri personal assistant in iOS, Microsoft also incorporated Cortana in Windows 10. However, the evolution of Siri was comparatively slow when compared to other competing technologies. Recently, Facebook introduced chat bots to automate the chat conversations between two people.
Responding to media during the company’s most recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook clearly spoke about the importance of machine intelligence. He said that the company is focussing on AI to enhance the customer experience. For instance, the use of machine learning enables Siri to know about the Words including the purpose behind them.
He revealed that Siri will be improved in future releases in such a way that it predicts your actual requirements and then delivering the correct responses to requests.
The company is also planning to make use of the new AI technology in other areas such as songs, apps and news recommendations. Moreover, it can also be used to enhance facial recognition in images in addition to smart prediction of words while typing messages and mail.
Although Turi was found by Guestrin, the investors comprise of Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group, Paul Allen’s Vulcan and New Enterprise Associates.