Apple boosts AI efforts by acquiring machine learning startup

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Siri
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.

Apple confirmed the acquisition with it’s usual statement that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” GeekWire first reported the acquisition, citing multiple sources that verified Turi has indeed been acquired.

Instead of bringing the company to Cupertino, Turi’s staff will reportedly stay in the Seattle region and continue to grow while Apple extends its expertise into data science and machine learning.

Turi was founded by professor Carlos Guestrin at Carnegie Mellon in 2009 as an open source project but was later spun off into a company in 2012 after Guestrin and his wife moved to the University of Washington to continue their studies. The company was originally called GraphLab, then changed to Dato before settling on Turi.