Laserlike acquisition boosts Apple’s AI capabilities

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The Laserlike app used machine learning to find relevant news articles.
The Laserlike app used machine learning to find relevant news articles.
Photo: Laserlike

Apple bought a small startup that created an app that used machine learning to auotomically find news articles users would be interested in.

The acquisition of Laserlike is expected to  bolster Apple’s artificial intelligence efforts.

Laserlike + Apple

The Laserlike app, which has been removed from the App Store and Google Play, was a “web scale content search, discovery and personalization platform using advanced machine learning,” according to its creators. The Apple News app performs a similar function, so building this tech into iOS and macOS seems logical. 

One of goal of the buy-out was apparently getting the services of Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker, three former Google developers who founded the company. They’ll be working for John Giannandrea,  who was lured away from Google to take charge of all Apple’s artificial intelligence efforts, including the Siri voice assistant.

The real deal

Apple confirmed it purchased Laserlike to The Information, but otherwise declined to reveal its reasons: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

It’s also unknown how much the four-year-old startup sold for.