Apple has scooped up Xnor.ai, a Seattle startup specializing in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence (AI) tools for $200 million, reports GeekWire.
Xnor’s AI-enabled image recognition tools could become standard features in future iPhones and webcams, according to GeekWire.
This isn’t the first time the iPhone maker has bought AI/machine learning companies. In 2015, Apple acquired Turi, a “machine learning platform for developers and data scientists.” Here’s how Turi was described at the company 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.”
In 2014, Apple 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; 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 Emollient, a a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.