Apple has reportedly acquired Silk Labs, a San Francisco-based startup that works on AI-based personal assistant technology for both home hubs and mobile devices.
The Information reported that Apple quietly acquired the startup earlier this year and it was “likely a small [acquisition]” due to the fact that Silk Labs only had employed around a dozen employees.
It had also raised approximately $4 million in funding.
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Founded in 2015 by Mozilla's former CTO, Andreas Gal, Silk Labs touts itself as a “machine learning company providing on-device AI to empower businesses to build the next generation of intelligent connected devices.”
The firm’s focus on privacy may have been a draw for Apple: the startup says its algorithm only send “key” video moments to the cloud, instead of a constant stream.
Additionally, it also anonymizes data on its Silk Intelligence platform.
Neither company has commented on the specifics of the deal.
This isn’t the first recent investment Apple has made in artificial intelligence.
Last year, the company acquired machine learning and AI company, Lattice Data, for US$200 million.
Earlier this year, Apple also hired John Giannandrea, Google’s search and AI chief, to aid its own AI efforts.