Apple buys machine-learning startup Turi for $200 million to make Siri better

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are clearly the next big thing, and Apple has recently been making a push in this space with a host of acquisitions. Adding to this list is Seattle-based machine learning startup Turi, which Apple is said to have acquired for around $200 million. The idea behind the acquisition is not only to make a push in the AI space, but also to improve Siri.

According to GeekWire, which was the first to break the news, the move is set to increase Apple’s presence in the Seattle region where the tech giant has been building an engineering outpost for the past two years. While there has been no official announcement yet, Apple did issue a statement to GeekWire saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Turi, formerly known as GraphLab and Dato, offers tools that are meant to let developers easily scale machine learning applications. The startup is led by Carlos Guestrin, who is not only well known in the AI space, but also serves as Amazon professor of machine learning at the University of Washington.

The startup is expected to remain in the Seattle region and continue to grow as Apple builds out further expertise in data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the report added. Apple has recently bought some machine learning and AI startups like VocalIQ and Perceptio and facial recognition startup Emotient, among others.

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