Tuesday, 14 July, 2020


Apple buys a machine learning startup to power up Siri

The Apple logo displayed on the front of a glass building Apple buys machine learning specialist Inductiv to bolster Siri, AI projects
Conrad Doyle | 30 May, 2020, 07:08

A report has stated that Inductiv's engineering team has teamed up with Apple over the recent weeks in order to work on various different projects that include machine learning, data science and Apple's virtual assistant Siri.

Apple recently purchased Ontario-based machine learning startup Inductiv for the goal of improving Siri, reports Bloomberg. The company didn't elaborate on its plans and relied on its standard response that it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time", but Siri appears to be the focus.

Bloomberg also reported that John Giannandrea, the Apple executive in charge of Siri and machine learning, has been working to upgrade the underlying technology behind Siri and other AI-powered products the company has developed.

Inductiv, which is based in Ontario, was co-founded by professors from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Waterloo. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon have announced 19 acquisitions in total this year, the highest rate of deal-making since 2015.

The professor from Stanford, Christopher Ré, previously co-founded another AI company, Lattice Data, that was bought by Apple in 2017. Error rectification is an important facet of machine learning, which itself aims to complete complex tasks without human intervention.

Apple has made a push to improve Siri in recent years as voice assistants have become more common in the home and elsewhere.

The work falls under the category of data science, a key element of Apple's broader machine-learning strategy.

As with every other acquisition, Apple didn't share any reasoning behind its acquisition of Inductiv.

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