Apple acquires AI-centric startup Silk Labs

Apple wants to ramp up its AI game with the new acquisition.


Apple is poised to make serious advancements in the AI department, and that's the reason why the company has been acquiring a lot of AI-centric companies. After hiring Google's former AI chief to head its core machine learning and Siri operations, Apple has now taken over privacy-centric AI startup Silk Labs, reports The Information.

Apple acquires AI-centric startup Silk Labs

The startup launched a crowdfunded smart home monitoring camera back in 2016 which showcased its AI tech. Known as the Sense, the inconspicuous device includes facial and object recognition tech that is capable of recognizing multiple faces and even pets. It could play music based on user's choices and pair with other devices smart bulbs and speakers.
Silk Lab's focus on security could be the reason Apple got attracted to the AI firm. The startup claims that its algorithm only sends "key" video moments to the cloud, instead of streaming all the data, and it also anonymizes data on its Silk Intelligence platform.

Both Facebook and Google forayed in the smart displays this year, but both the companies have a bad track record in terms of privacy. The new acquisition might help Apple to expand its range of smart home products while offering a good level of security.

Founded in 2015 by Mozilla's former CTO, Andreas Gal, Silk Labs reportedly has up to six employees and has received $4 million in funding. This would rather be a cheap acquisition for the company judging by company's acquiring record.

Besides, Apple is also hiring engineers to develop wireless components and chips that could power future iPhones. This will also reduce Apple's reliance on Qualcomm to supply chipsets. The company has published 10 job listings on its website for chip design-related positions in San Diego. This also marks as the first time that the Cupertino-based company has publicly recruited people in Southern California.

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