Apple acquires machine learning and AI startup Turi for $200M, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2016
Apple has reportedly purchased Turi, a small Seattle-based startup specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence technology for a purchase price of around $200 million.




Citing a source familiar with the matter, GeekWire revealed the Turi acquisition on Friday. A detailed purchase timeline was not provided, and it is unclear if Turi can be counted among the 15 smaller firms Apple bought in 2015.

Previously known as Dato and GraphLab, Turi brought a number of products to market designed to assist developers in creating machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions capable of automatically scaling to fit greater needs.

Prior to Apple's acquisition, Turi marketed GraphLab Create, Turi Machine Learning Platform, Turi Distributed and Turi Predictive Services, software that can be used to create recommendation engines, sentiment analysis, churn predictors, clickthrough predictors, fraud detection systems and more. For Apple, these technologies would be valuable additions to the Siri virtual assistant, as well as the company's online storefronts like Apple Music and the various App Stores.

Apple offered its usual boilerplate response when asked about the acquisition, all but confirming the buy.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said.

While details remain unknown, GeekWire reports the Turi team intends to remain in Seattle as Apple grows its influence in the region. In 2014, Apple purchased Seattle-based stealth cloud startup Union Bay, later announcing plans to open an engineering office in the area. A few months later the company further expanding into Microsoft's home turf by leasing two floors in a nearby office tower.

The Turi acquisition is just the latest indication of Apple's interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. Last October, Apple bought machine learning startup Perceptio and natural language processing firm VocalIQ to bolster in-house projects including Siri and certain facets of iOS, MacOS, tvOS and CarPlay.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 259member
    Been waiting for this, thought they might buy Siri's original teams new stuff, which is pretty amazing and structurally what seems like a brilliant approach
    bpg131313
  • Reply 2 of 20

    Mmm ... 

    I wonder how this meshes with the March 2015 Apple acquisition of FoundationDB.

    Turi has a YT site at:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqP3XX03Rl_nQAz0eqXXAYw


    This shows that Turi has a lot of things going.

    AFAICT, Turi provides middleware that allows its various AI, machine learning, analytical and predictive services to interact with various SQL and NoSQL Big Data databases.  

    I wonder if these services will continue to be offered under Apple aegis?

    It almost seems that it would have made more sense if IBM had bought Turi.

    edited August 2016 pscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    Time for Apple to buy IBM and get Watson to replace Siri.
    topper24hourscalijahbladejony0
  • Reply 4 of 20
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 259member
    The company that ships highly functional AI, integrated into existing platforms, CarPlay, HomeKit, Apple TV, iOS, MacOS, without compromising the privacy of user data, wins.  That's the Long Game, IMHO
    calijbdragonbpg131313jahbladejay-tjony0h2p
  • Reply 5 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Time for Apple to buy IBM and get Watson to replace Siri.
    Not replace, combine.

    Oh and throw in will.i.ams AneedA since Apple and Will seem to like each other.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    cali said:
    Time for Apple to buy IBM and get Watson to replace Siri.
    Not replace, combine.

    Oh and throw in will.i.ams AneedA since Apple and Will seem to like each other.
    I think Watson has proven to be far more capable.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    cali said:
    Not replace, combine.

    Oh and throw in will.i.ams AneedA since Apple and Will seem to like each other.
    I think Watson has proven to be far more capable.
    I agree but wouldn't combining the databases and AI be more efficient? Plus throwing away Siri seems like a waste of time and resources.
    nolamacguybaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,581member
    cali said:
    I think Watson has proven to be far more capable.
    I agree but wouldn't combining the databases and AI be more efficient? Plus throwing away Siri seems like a waste of time and resources.
    Possibly, but I find Siri's many shortcomings to be an impediment. I have no firsthand knowledge of what it would take to integrate the resources of Watson and Siri, but I suspect Watson's database of knowledge is more developed and superior.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    cali said:
    I agree but wouldn't combining the databases and AI be more efficient? Plus throwing away Siri seems like a waste of time and resources.
    Possibly, but I find Siri's many shortcomings to be an impediment. I have no firsthand knowledge of what it would take to integrate the resources of Watson and Siri, but I suspect Watson's database of knowledge is more developed and superior.
    Check out will.i.ams AneedA. Made by a musician and better than Apples offering, a shame really.

    Maybe Apple has surprises for Siri come
    September?
  • Reply 10 of 20
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,905member
    Time for Apple to buy IBM and get Watson to replace Siri.
    Now that would be irony at its best.  Not as ironic as buying Microsoft but a damn sight more useful :)
    edited August 2016 calipropod
  • Reply 11 of 20
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,342member
    If only Apple we're going to use this for an Internet search engine to replace Google instead of just using it to make the search feature in the App Store more powerful.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Time for Apple to buy IBM and get Watson to replace Siri.
    No need, IBM will license a Watson installation to Apple. 
  • Reply 13 of 20
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    evilution said:
    If only Apple we're going to use this for an Internet search engine to replace Google instead of just using it to make the search feature in the App Store more powerful.
    how would that serve Apple? getting into the ad business with both feet doesn't seem aligned with their profit drivers. 
    edited August 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 14 of 20
    MacBAirMacBAir Posts: 48member
    cali said:
    Possibly, but I find Siri's many shortcomings to be an impediment. I have no firsthand knowledge of what it would take to integrate the resources of Watson and Siri, but I suspect Watson's database of knowledge is more developed and superior.
    Check out will.i.ams AneedA. Made by a musician and better than Apples offering, a shame really.

    Maybe Apple has surprises for Siri come
    September?
    What musician made will.i.am's AneedA?
  • Reply 15 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    MacBAir said:
    cali said:
    Check out will.i.ams AneedA. Made by a musician and better than Apples offering, a shame really.

    Maybe Apple has surprises for Siri come
    September?
    What musician made will.i.am's AneedA?
    Will.i.am is the musician. He's from The Black Eyed Peas if you're not familiar with his name. He also admires Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    evilution said:
    If only Apple we're going to use this for an Internet search engine to replace Google instead of just using it to make the search feature in the App Store more powerful.
    how would that serve Apple? getting into the ad business with both feet doesn't seem aligned with their profit drivers. 
    Trust me it's going to happen and it's gonna be innovative. It also doesn't need ads if Apple doesn't want them.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Turi + Siri = Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons...
  • Reply 18 of 20
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,342member
    evilution said:
    If only Apple we're going to use this for an Internet search engine to replace Google instead of just using it to make the search feature in the App Store more powerful.
    how would that serve Apple? getting into the ad business with both feet doesn't seem aligned with their profit drivers. 
    Because it would seriously affect Google and them losing money is as good as Apple making money.
    Same reason they did Apple maps. It cost them more to create their own maps plus the upkeep and add ons than it would have cost to just licence Google Maps for the next 20 years.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    cali said:
    MacBAir said:
    What musician made will.i.am's AneedA?
    Will.i.am is the musician. He's from The Black Eyed Peas if you're not familiar with his name. He also admires Steve Jobs.

    I think he was just being sarcastic.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    evilution said:
    If only Apple we're going to use this for an Internet search engine to replace Google instead of just using it to make the search feature in the App Store more powerful.
    how would that serve Apple? getting into the ad business with both feet doesn't seem aligned with their profit drivers. 
    the search business doesn't have to be tied to ads, that's Google's business model, not Apples.
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