Apple just spent $200 million for more artificial intelligence

Apple has bought Turi, a Seattle-based machine learning startup.

The purchase price was “around” $200 million, Geekwire reports, citing a source close to the deal.

Turi was founded by a University of Washington professor, and it specialised in providing tools and frameworks for other developers to incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence into their apps.

For example, Turi’s tools allow developers to build more advanced fraud detection into their applications.

Apple has heavily invested in artificial intelligence in recent years, especially through purchases. Last fall, it bought Perceptio and VocalIQ. It has also purchased Faceshift, a Swiss company working on machine vision animation, and Emollient in the past year.

“We have focused our AI efforts on the features that best enhance the customer experience.,” CEO Tim Cook said earlier this month on its earnings conference call. “We’re also using machine learning in many other ways across our products and services, including recommending songs, apps, and news.”

“We generally acquire a company every three to four weeks on average. And so it’s a rare month that there’s not a company being bought,” Cook said earlier this year during an appearance on CNBC.

Apple confirmed the purchase to Geekwire, giving its standard non-denial:

Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.

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