It was reported that the Apple company is about to acquire artificial intelligence startup Turi Inc., in a $200 million transaction. Artificial intelligence appears to be the next big step for the main technology company worldwide. Apple is trying not to be left behind by buying this Seattle-based machine learning startup.
With the acquisition of Turi, Apple is aiming to tap into the Artificial Intelligence researcher’s community which has suggested that the multinational tech company is too secretive about its AI advances. As well, Apple is planning to use Turi to improve its personal assistance program, Siri. The AI Startup was created in Seattle, though it is about to be a part of the Californian giant, who stated that the Turi team will remain in its city of origin.
The battle to develop Artificial intelligence
The Californian multinational, Apple Inc, was founded 40 years ago, and has ever since designed and offered technology and sophistication to its consumers worldwide; focusing on smartphones, software designing, and computers.
However, the technology has advanced quickly in the last years and now Apple has a new challenge: become the best company regarding artificial intelligence in the whole market.
“We have focused our AI efforts on the features that best enhance the customer experience,” said Apple CEO, Tim Cook, according to Gadgets 360.
What Cook said might explain why the company on Friday decided to buy Turi, as a response to a battle among tech companies to gain the edge in Artificial Intelligence, especially on pervasive computing, a technology that tries to show and suggest people what they want. This means a technology that based on previous choices can choose for customers.
Apple’s big policy regarding privacy has led to reduced access to information and data about its clients in contrast with Apple’s rivals. But to keep up with them, Apple has bought small companies related to AI from time to time, including VocallQ, which uses machine learning to allow voice assistants, such as Siri, to hold a more realistic conversation; Perceptio, an Al system used in devices that allows sharing limited personal data of customers; Emotient -acquired in January- which is a startup that uses artificial intelligence to recognize facial expressions, and now the AI Startup, Turi.
What is Turi?
Turi is a machine learning startup. It was formerly known as GraphLab and Dato. It emerged from the GraphLab open-source project, used by companies to power recommendations to their customers. Now that Apple is acquiring Turi it would be a great tool to upgrade and feed Apple’s Siri, digital assistant. Since this attempt of AI from Apple has evolved rather slowly, compared to the significant developments of other companies such as Amazon and Google.
Therefore, Turi allows developers to improve the management of software programs and services that use machine learning, which is a form of artificial intelligence. Turi will also enable Apple to shape new ways through which computers interact with people. Turi has a system that allows detecting fraud, offering recommendations, determine the usage patterns of the users and identify potential users too. Apple will certainly look forward to integrating the tools provided by Turi in new products.
A new age of machine learning
Machine learning is a subfield of the computer science, very related to computational statistics. It studies pattern recognition and computational learning theory. It is a way of artificial intelligence. Machine learning is about designing algorithms that can learn and predict by analyzing data. Machine learning permits computers to understand videos, images, and spoken words and thus respond them by suggesting actions or making recommendations based on such data.
And that is what Apple is going after. The company certainly made advances with Siri, but other recently acquired companies including Turi, which work with AI will enable “Siri to understand words as well as the intent behind them. That means Siri does a better job understanding and even predicting what you want, then delivering the right responses to requests”, said Tim Cook. As well, Apple means to use Artificial Technology in the recommendation of songs, apps, news and other information to its customers; therefore predicting their choices.
Apple is really trying to sophisticate all its features and services with machine learning, since it is about to offer a new version of its photo management program that allows iPads and iPhones’ users to identify object in an image, consequently the customers would be able to search for words and if their photographs include the object sought, they will appear. As well, Apple is indenting to translate words in texts into emoji icons improving- using machine learning tools- its iMessenger app. This feature is likely to be released this fall. Other functions that are probably to be enhanced include maps, typing of messages and emails.