According to a new report from GeekWire, Apple has acquired small Seattle-based startup specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence technology Turi for around $200 million.
A detailed timeline of the purchase was not provided and it is unclear if Turi can be counted among the 15 smaller firms Apple bought in 2015. Previously known as Dato and GraphLab, Turi brought a number of products to market designed to assist developers in creating machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions capable of automatically scaling to fit greater needs.
Prior to Apple’s acquisition, Turi marketed GraphLab Create, Turi Machine Learning Platform, Turi Distributed and Turi Predictive Services, software that can be used to create recommendation engines, clickthrough predictors, fraud detection systems and a lot more. For Apple, these technologies can be used in a variety of areas including Siri and the App Store.
While details remain unknown, GeekWire reports the Turi team intends to remain in Seattle as Apple grows its influence in the region. When asked about the acquisition, Apple issued its standard response:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The Turi acquisition is just the latest indication of Apple’s interest in machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies. Last October, Apple bought machine learning startup Perceptio and natural language processing firm VocalIQ to bolster in-house projects including Siri and certain facets of iOS, MacOS, tvOS and CarPlay.