Artificial Intelligence: Apple Acquires Inductiv Inc., a Machine Learning Startup

Apple adds to a series of AI-related acquisitions in recent years.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has acquired machine learning startup Inductiv, Inc., to improve its Siri database. Inductiv identifies and corrects errors in data using a process automated by artificial intelligence.

Reportedly, an engineering team from Inductiv is already at Apple. It’s working on data science and machine learning applications for Siri. Siri is a virtual assistant in Apple’s operating systems. According to Bloomberg, the company has been bolstering the technology supporting Siri and other AI-powered products. John Giannandrea is leading the effort.

Clean data for machine learning

Bloomberg clarified the importance of the Inductiv acquisition as follows:

“Inductiv developed technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate the task of identifying and correcting errors in data. Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human intervention.”

University of Waterloo professor Ihab Ilyas, University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor Theodoros Rekatsinas and Stanford University professor Christopher Re co-founded Inductiv. They are all experts in machine learning.

AI acquisitions by Apple

However, Apple said noncommittally that it was normal for it to acquire smaller technology companies from time to time. “We generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

In January the manufacturer of iPhones acquired, a start-up listed in the Forbes AI 50: America’s Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies’ list, for $200 million.

According to Wired, Apple’s purchase of this startup showed the trend of computing on the “edge” rather than in the cloud. In time to come, handheld devices could “machine-learn” too. They could thereby improve their performance over time, without recourse to the cloud.

Earlier this month, the tech giant bought up NextVR, which specializes in virtual reality broadcasting.

Other AI start-ups that have been acquired by Apple in recent years include Tuplejump, Laserlike, Turi, and Perceptio.

Related Story:   Apple and Google Will Partner on COVID-19 Contact Tracing

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