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Apple has acquired artificial intelligence startup Xnor.ai for a reported $200 million

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 16 Jan 2020

Apple has purchased a little-known AI company for a reported $200 million.According to GeekWire, the acquired company is a Seattle-based startup that specializes in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools, called Xnor.ai. Apple recently acquired a similar startup called Spectral Edge, a British startup that used machine learning to dramatically enhance the quality of photos that can be taken on the iPhone camera.Business Insider has approached Apple and Xnor.ai for comment.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Apple just can't get enough of AI startups, it seems.The tech giant has reportedly purchased a little known AI-company for around $200 million. According to GeekWire, the acquired company is a Seattle-based startup called Xnor.ai. that specializes in low-power, edge-based artificial intelligence tools.Bloomberg confirmed the acquisition with an Apple spokesman. Business Insider has contacted Apple and Xnor.ai for comment.Despite its acquisition by Apple, Xnor.ai owes its existence to Microsoftsort of. That's because it's an alumnus of AI2, an incubator for AI startups funded by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's Institute for Artificial Intelligence .Though it's not yet clear exactly how Xnor.ai's products will be used by Apple, the startup is also thought to specialize in image recognition software. Sources told GeekWire that Apple paid in the range of $200 million.Apple's purchases of Turi and Xnor.ai form part of a wider recent tendency on its part towards buying small AI firms.Last month, it acquired British AI firm Spectral Edge, a Cambridge-based firm that uses combines image-fusion technology with machine learning to dramatically enhance the quality of iPhone photos.In May last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the tech giant acquires a company "on average, every two to three weeks," with the company "primarily looking for talent and intellectual property" when making these purchases.SEE ALSO:Apple is actively scouting for visual effects startups and has quietly bought motion capture company iKinemaJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Inside the US government's top-secret bioweapons lab
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