Jan 15, 2020 - Technology

Apple confirms purchase of AI startup Xnor.ai

An image from the Xnor.ai Website that says "transform your business with on-device AI"

Screenshot: Xnor.ai

Apple confirmed to Axios it has purchased Xnor.ai, a Seattle-based startup that specializes in putting artificial intelligence on devices rather than via centralized servers.

Why it matters: Doing AI work on devices is a key trend, especially for Apple, as it makes it easier to offer privacy protections. Apple, for example, does all of its automated tagging and categorization of photos on its devices.

What they're saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company told Axios, offering the tell-tale statement it gives when it makes an acquisition.

Seattle-based tech site GeekWire first reported the deal earlier Wednesday, pegging the purchase price at $200 million.

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