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Apple acquires Xnor.ai

January 15, 2020.

Object recognition.

Reconnaissance d’objets. © Xnor.ai.

With no fanfare, Apple acquired Xnor.ai for USD200 million. The Seattle-based start-up specializes in developing image recognition tools that work locally, independent of the cloud, unlike most AI solutions. One major advantage of local computing is privacy; the problem is that most devices out there just don’t have enough computing power fotr AI. Xnor.ai has developed technologies that don’t require powerful processors or connections to distant servers. Apple commented the news with its boilerplate statement for this kind of quiet acquisition: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Tech Crunch, Devin Coldewey, “Apple buys edge-based AI startup Xnor.ai for a reported $200M.”