Apple ‘Buys AI Start-Up Turi’ For £150m

Turi’s technology could add to Siri’s capabilities and improve other offerings

Apple has reportedly acquired artificial intelligence start-up Turi in a deal that could bolster its Siri digital assistant and other offerings.

Apple bought Seattle-based Turi, which makes artificial intelligence and machine learning toolkits for other applications, for around $200m (£153m), according to a report by Geekwire, which cited unnamed sources.

artifical intelligence

Machine learning

The company declined to confirm the report. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple stated.

Apple has opened Siri to third-party developers and integrated the feature into MacOS, indicating it plans to expand the tool.

Turi could also be used to improve the music, film, book and app recommendations in Apple’s app stores.

Turi’s products are aimed at developers, allowing them to add AI capabilities in areas including recommendations, fraud detection, customer sentiment prediction and customer segmentation.

AI focus

The company began as an open source project at Carnegie Mellon in 2009 under Carlos Guestrin, now on the faculty of the University of Washington under a machine learning professorship endowed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Apple’s recent acquisitions include two AI startups, Perceptio and VocalIQ, which it bought last year.

In its latest quarterly earnings statement, chief executive Tim Cook said the company has focused its AI efforts on “the features that best enhance the customer experience”.

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