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Apple Buys Startup That Makes AI Possible On Low-Rung Hardware

Neer Varshney

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has acquired edge-based artificial intelligence startup Xnor.ai, GeekWire reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the matter.

What Happened

The Cupertino-based technology giant has reportedly paid $200 million for Xnor's acquisition, whose early investors included Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group and the University of Washington.

The startup spun out of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen's Seattle-based Allen Institute for AI, better known as AI2.

AI2's Kitt.ai was acquired by Chinese search engine giant Baidu inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), GeekWire noted.

What's Next

Apple confirmed the acquisition to GeekWire and other publications, with its standard response in such matters.

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

Xnor, whose staff is already moving to Apple's office according to GeekWire, could make an appearance in Apple's near-future devices with its technology.

The startup's particular unique selling proposition is its ability to make AI work on low-powered devices, meaning it is likely to feature in Apple's devices with more limited hardware-capacity than the iPhone.

Price Action

Apple's shares closed 0.43% lower at $311.34 on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.


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