iPhone maker Apple is reported to have spent $200 million on a takeover of an artificial intelligence (AI) startup called Turi.
The move, which was first reported by GeekWire, could help the Californian company in its battle against rivals like Facebook and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), as emerging computing capabilities open up new service opportunities for the world's biggest technology players.
Turi assists developers who are introducing machine-learning capabilities into software and services. Its technology can also help organizations to detect patterns of consumer behavior and then improve their sales and marketing activities.
According to a report from Bloomberg, which cites a source close to the matter, the Turi technology could be integrated with Siri, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s voice-controlled digital assistant, to improve the service to customers. Turi might also aid the development of forthcoming products and services.
Bloomberg also reports that Apple sees the deal as a way of fostering links with the growing community of AI researchers.
Based in Seattle, Turi used to be called Dato and is said to have raised about $25 million in funding from investors including New Enterprise Associates and Madrona Venture Group.
The takeover move would come after a series of AI acquisitions by Apple, including the January purchase of Emotient, whose technology analyzes facial expressions to determine what they mean.
In 2015, Apple bought two AI startups called VocalIQ and Perceptio as it looked to make improvements to Siri.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading