Apple has acquired an artificial intelligence startup, according to a slew of sources cited in Geekwire. The world’s most valuable technology company bought Turi, a machine learning company based in Seattle, for a rumored $200 million.
Apple is not talking about the acquisition, so one can only speculate on the reasons behind the deal. But we do know CEO Tim Cook is openly interested in artificial intelligence, so the transaction is not a surprise.
Google, Facebook, and Amazon, among other tech titans, are all interested in AI too, in fact. The idea that software could automatically understand what people want—and help them get it—could be a valuable addition to products and services for both company and consumer.
Prior to Turi, Apple acquired Emotient earlier this year. Emotient is a startup that uses AI to recognize facial expressions. Other similar transactions include the purchases of Perceptio and VocalIQ, AI startups in the voice space, where Apple has Siri.