Apple scoops up machine learning platform for developers and data scientists

GeekWire is reporting that Apple has bought Turi, a "machine learning platform for developers and data scientists.” The price tag is a reported $200 million.

The article says the acquisition reflects a larger push by Apple into artificial intelligence and machine learning. It also promises to further increase the Cupertino, California-based company’s presence in the Seattle region.


Quoting “people familiar with the acquisition,” GeekWire says Turi’s team is expected to remain in the Seattle region and continue to grow as Apple builds out further expertise in data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Here’s how the company is described at the Turi website: “Turi toolkits simplify development of machine learning models. Each incorporates automatic feature engineering, model selection, and machine learning visualizations specific to the application. There is no faster way to build performant models.”

This isn’t the first such acquisition for Apple. Last October the company bought Perceptio, a startup developing technology to let companies run advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems on smartphones without needing to share as much user data. 

Also last year, Apple acquired VocalIQ, a UK startup that’s developed a natural language application programming interface [API] that allows humans and machines to have a much more natural conversation. And in January, our favorite tech company bought Emollient, a a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.