From 2016 to 2020, Apple was the biggest acquirer of artificial intelligence firms, beating out Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
According to a recent study from GlobalData, Apple acquired 25 artificial intelligence firms between 2016 and 2020. Accenture, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, all based in Ireland, rounded out the list of major AI buyers.
Silk Labs, Turi, Drive.ai, and Voysis are only a few of the companies Apple has acquired. Apple doesn’t say anything about its acquisition plans, but the AI companies it buys are likely to develop the company’s machine learning and Siri-related technologies.
“In order to catch up with Google (Google Assistant) and Amazon, Apple has gone on a shopping spree (Alexa). While Siri was the first on the market, it consistently ranks lower than the two in terms of smartness,’ which is one of the reasons Apple is trailing in smart speaker sales “Nicklas Nilsson, a GlobalData analyst, said
Nilsson points out that the purchase of machine learning startup Inductive was made to improve Siri data, that Voysis was bought to improve Siri’s natural language processing, and that PullString’s technology could improve Siri’s integration with third-party iOS apps.
“Apple also needs to retain its dominant position in the wearables market. In the world of smartwatches, it is the undisputed king. Last year, it acquired Xnor.ai to enhance its on-edge processing capabilities, which have become increasingly important as they remove the need for data to be submitted to the cloud, enhancing data privacy “According to the analyst.
Since the Cupertino tech behemoth does not publicly reveal all of its acquisitions, it’s likely that GlobalData skipped several.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in February that the company had acquired nearly 100 companies in the previous six years.
“We’re not afraid to look at acquisitions of any scale,” Cook said, adding that Apple’s emphasis is on “small, creative companies that complement and help propel our products forward.”