Apple reportedly struck a deal over the weekend to buy machine-learning startup Turi for $200 million.
Seattle-based Turi provides machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to help developers create better services and improved software. While Apple hadn't confirmed the purchase Monday morning, the deal appears to signal Apple's increased interest in AI applications.
The acquisition was first reported by GeekWire. According to a story by Bloomberg, Apple is planning on blending Turi's capabilities with its voice-controlled Siri technology as well as using it in future services and applications. Bloomberg also said the Turi deal was a way for Apple to create closer ties with the AI research community.
Apple's interest in AI could also mean it's looking for additional revenue streams to better compete with industry giants such as Facebook , Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).
The deal for Turi isn't the first time that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has dipped its toe in the AI waters. Last year it bought Perceptio, which had deep learning and AI capabilities that could be added to Siri, and UK startup VocalIQ, which specialized in speech-processing technology. In January, Apple bought Emotient, which has developed KPIs to analyze facial expressions.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation