Mar 15, 2024 - Technology

Apple buys Canadian AI startup

Illustration of the Apple logo made out of a repeating hundred dollar bill pattern.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple has acquired DarwinAI, a Canadian startup focused on using AI to improve inspections in manufacturing operations.

Why it matters: Apple has said it is investing heavily in generative AI but has yet to reveal any major uses of the technology.

Driving the news: As Bloomberg first reported, Apple bought DarwinAI earlier this year.

  • Apple essentially confirmed the acquisition, offering the statement it gives when it buys small companies.
  • "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," it said in a statement to Axios.

The big picture: CEO Tim Cook said on Apple's most recent earnings call that the company would have more news on its generative AI plans later this year.

  • We have a lot of work internally as I've alluded to before," Cook said, adding later that he sees a "huge opportunity" for Apple in AI, broadly, and generative AI, specifically.

Meanwhile, in a sign Apple is continuing to explore generative AI, yesterday researchers at the company published an academic paper on multimodal large language models.

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