Apple Inc. acquired a start-up specializing in advanced artificial intelligence and computer vision technology, which will foster the iPhone maker to enhance its own AI across several services and applications.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant acquired Vilynx Inc. during the early months of this year. Vilynx has the technology that uses AI for analyzing video’s visual, audio, and text content to understand what is inside the video. It uses technology to create tags for the video, which makes it navigable or searchable. The reports say that the deal was sealed for approximately USD 50 million; however, no further details are provided.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the company said in a statement.
Vilynx tries to apply its technology in software that companies use for search and recommendation engines for other media and videos. Its system can both recognize and understand things.
“Recognition is detecting Michael Jordan’s face,” the website said. “Understanding is knowing it’s Michael Jordan, the former NBA basketball player who played for the Chicago Bulls and went to the University of North Carolina.”
Apple plans to apply this technology to the company’s digital assistant, Siri, and its search. It can be used in the company’s Photos app to make videos more searchable in the same way how users find out the photos by finding items inside the bunch of photos. It can be further applied to a recommendation engine for the TV and news apps to send relevant content to the users.
Apple plans to keep Vilynx Barcelona’s office and intends to make it one of the leading AI research and amp; development centers in Europe. Apple has started hiring engineers for this office. This deal adds one more AI company to the list of already purchased companies by Apple in recent years. This year itself, Apple already acquired Xnor.ai, Inductiv, and Voysis to improve its AI efforts.
The iPhone maker company launched Siri in 2011 and has since expanded AI across its software, including Camera and Photos apps, battery life optimization, and facial and handwriting recognition. Though efforts were made to make Siri number 1, the topmost in the line are still Google and Amazon when it comes to machine learning (ML) technology.
All in all, the recent AI-related deals, hiring of new researchers, and increased public presence for machine learning groups indicate the company’s efforts for overall improvements.