Apple has bought artificial intelligence startup Turi for $200m, as the electronics giant looks to expand into the growing machine learning sector.
Turi was formerly known as Dato and GraphLab. Apple acknowledged its purchase of the company but had no additional comment.
Turi creates software tools that let brands develop and embed machine learning into applications. The tools allow the creation of advanced applications with state-of-the-art algorithms and scalable data structures.
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.
“Apple’s plans for Turi’s technology are not clear, but the company has been making a broad push into artificial intelligence through an expansion of its Siri personal assistant and related technologies.”
Turi also claims that its services are in use in sectors including fraud detection, customer churn and sentiment analysis, probably on social media platforms.
The move for an AI player of this nature would be no surprise as Apple has lagged behind in this quickly evolving arena, especially as rivals Google, Microsoft and even Facebook are developing competing technologies, notably Google’s DeepMind division that has been playing Go with a tool dubbed AlphaGo.