Tech giant Apple has confirmed that it has acquired Seattle-based AI company Xnor.ai which specialises in low-power and edge-based artificial intelligence tools. While both the companies have declined to share more about this acquisition, reports indicate that Apple might have paid around $200 million for Xnor.ai.
This acquisition points to Seattle’s rising role as a hotspot for innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning and also points to rising tide for AI and applications of such technologies.
A report from GeekWire indicates that much of the Xnor.ai website has already been taken offline and a move from the Xnor.ai offices is taking place in Seattle.
For the initiated, 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. The company has also promised complete privacy of data along with reduced memory load and power demands.
The company was founded by Ali Farhadi three years ago at AI2 and spun it out just before the organization formally launched its incubator program. It had raised $2.7 million in early 2017 and $12 million in 2018, both rounds led by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group.
Xnor.ai will provide Apple with edge computing capabilities that are in line with the company’s interest in preserving data privacy which is an issue that Apple CEO Tim Cook brought to the fore last year.