Apple Buys Turi To Beef Up Its AI, Machine-Learning Reach

Artificial intelligence is getting a lot more notice from the technology heavy hitters, with Apple reportedly acquiring Turi, the machine-learning and artificial intelligence startup.

According to a report, Apple spent around $200 million to purchase the Seattle startup as it pushers further into the artificial intelligence and machine-learning areas. It’s also seen as a way for Apple to beef up its presence in Seattle, where it has been building up an engineering team for a couple of years now.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” said Apple in a statement to GeekWire about the deal. What Apple has up its sleeves in artificial intelligence and machine learning is anyone’s guess, with the company being coy about its plans in the past.

The team behind Turi will reportedly stay in Seattle and will grow as Apple expands more into artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. It’s not clear what Apple wants to do with Turi, but Apple has been expanding more into artificial intelligence, in part, by enhancing the capabilities of Siri, its personal assistant.

Turi is a platform for developers to create apps with artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities. The products are aimed at helping businesses analyze and make sense of all their data. Some of the things companies can do with the tools include fraud detection and predicting the churn of customers. Apple is no stranger to startups in Seattle. Two years ago, it acquired Union Bay Networks, which is a cloud networking startup. It is that purchase that prompted Apple to expand its engineering prowess into Seattle.

Apple isn’t the only technology heavy hitter to make an AI buy to expand in the market. EBay acquired Expertmaker, a Swedish company in the AI, machine-learning and Big Data analytics markets. The purchase was designed to help eBay with its structured data initiative, which is a multi-year endeavor.


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