Apple boosts AI efforts by acquiring machine learning startup


Siri popularized digital assistants, but it's quickly falling behind.
Turi could make Siri smarter than ever.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s latest acquisition could play a big role in the iPhone maker’s future artificial intelligence products.

Turi, a Seattle-based startup specializing in machine learning and AI, was reportedly acquired by Apple for around $200 million. The startup creates software that gives developers the ability to add AI capabilities that scale automatically, which could certainly be an attractive addition to Apple’s platforms.

Why Apple should buy Tidal (and why it shouldn’t) [Friday Night Fights]

Tidal could be Apple Music's biggest rival later.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When you have the kind of cash Apple has, the easiest way to take down the competition is to just buy it. That’s exactly what the Cupertino company is planning to do with Apple Music rival Tidal, according to a recent report.

FNF-bugBut would a Tidal takeover be a good move? Would Apple be using its money solely to wipe out a rival, or will Tidal’s talent and connections to the music industry be great for Apple Music?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the latest Apple acquisition rumor!

Foxconn confirms $3.5 billion takeover of iPhone display maker


iPhone rain by Dariusz-Sankowski
Among other things, Sharp builds iPhone displays.
Photo: Dariusz Sanksowski/Pixabay. Licensed via CC0 1.0.

Foxconn is cementing its importance to Apple by finalizing a deal to acquire a majority interest in struggling iPhone display maker Sharp for a reported 389 billion yen — or $3.5 billion.

The multi-billion dollar bailout of Sharp was originally reported as being completed back in February, only to be placed on hold after previously undisclosed liabilities threatened the deal.

Apple scoops up A.I. startup that analyzes users’ emotions


Less emojis, more AI.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Apple’s latest acquisition is of a small artificial intelligence company called Emotient. The startup has technology that analyzes people’s emotions through their facial expressions.

Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple’s spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal. That’s the typical statement Apple gives when snatching up small companies.

It’s not clear yet what Apple has in mind for Emotient, but we sure can speculate.