Apple has acquired Xnor.ai, a Seattle based startup specialized in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools for around $200 million. “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.
Xnor.ai’s work is expected to be be incorporated into future iPhones, improving Siri and other AI and machine learning-based tasks. 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.
Last year, the Cupterino major had acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business worth $1 billion. Apple and Intel had signed an agreement with transaction value worth $1 billion, in which approximately 2,200 Intel employees to join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The signed deal was expected to go through by the fourth quarter end of 2019, depending upon regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
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The joint agreement didn’t meant that Intel will have to get out of the modem business entirely. Intel will still be able to develop modems for categories other than smartphones such as PCs, IoT devices, autonomous vehicles, and more.
Written with inputs from IANS