Apple dives deeper into AI with latest acquisition

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photos in ios 10
Regaind could give iOS Photos an AI boost.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has quietly made another acquisition of a little-known startup that could bring some big benefits to iPhone and iPad users in the future.

A small France startup called Regaind was reportedly acquired by Apple. The company specializes in using machine learning to recognize what’s in a photo, which could boost some features Apple already created in its photos app.

Regaind’s technology works similar to the intelligent search feature in the iOS Photos app which uses AI to tell what the contents of a picture are, like if it’s a picture of a beach or a person. The French company’s AI takes things to a new level and can determine the aesthetic values of a photo. For example, if you snap a series of burst photos, it will determine the best shot and use it as the preview in your library.

It’s unclear how much Apple paid for Regaind. News of the acquisition was first reported by Techcrunch citing “multiple sources.” Regaind only raised about $500,000 in investment funding so Apple likely didn’t break the bank scooping up the company’s tech and workers.

Other standout features in Regaind’s portfolio include the ability to analyze a picture for gender, age and emotion. It can also hide duplicates in order to help you clean up your photo library.

Apple would not officially confirm the acquisition, but it did give its
standard boilerplate non-statement in response to Techcrunch which pretty much confirms it.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”