Apple has purchased Seattle startup Xnor.ai, a company that specializes in on-device artificial intelligence, reports GeekWire, citing sources with knowledge of the acquisition.Apple is said to have paid around $200 million for Xnor.ai, and while both Apple and Xnor.ai have declined to comment on the potential acquisition, much of the Xnor.ai website has been taken offline and GeekWire says that a move from the Xnor.ai offices is taking place in Seattle.
Xnor.ai’s technology lets companies run deep learning algorithms locally on devices that include smartphones and wearables rather than requiring these computations to be done in the cloud. Xnor promised complete privacy of data along with reduced memory load and power demands.
Given Apple’s deep interest in personal privacy, an acquisition of technology for handling AI on device is unsurprising. Apple has, in the past, purchased other similar AI companies, such as Turi.Xnor.ai’s work could potentially be incorporated into future iPhones, improving Siri and other AI and machine learning-based tasks that are done on device.