Apple Acquires Artificial Intelligence Company Xnor.ai

Apple has purchased Seattle startup Xnor.ai, a company that specializes in on-device artificial intelligence, reports GeekWire, citing sources with knowledge of the acquisition.

Apple is said to have paid around $200 million for Xnor.ai, and while both Apple and Xnor.ai have declined to comment on the potential acquisition, much of the Xnor.ai website has been taken offline and GeekWire says that a move from the Xnor.ai offices is taking place in Seattle.


Xnor.ai's technology lets companies run deep learning algorithms locally on devices that include smartphones and wearables rather than requiring these computations to be done in the cloud. Xnor promised complete privacy of data along with reduced memory load and power demands.


Given Apple's deep interest in personal privacy, an acquisition of technology for handling AI on device is unsurprising. Apple has, in the past, purchased other similar AI companies, such as Turi.

Xnor.ai's work could potentially be incorporated into future iPhones, improving Siri and other AI and machine learning-based tasks that are done on device.

Update: Apple confirmed the acquisition of Xnor.ai to Axios with its standard acquisition statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
Well this probably explains why Xnor.ai terminated their contract for person detection with Wyze
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago
Wonder if Apple told them "dump Wyze first, then we have a deal"
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


Xnor.ai's technology lets companies run deep learning algorithms locally on devices that include smartphones and wearables rather than requiring these computations to be done in the cloud.

Now we're going to see why Apple has spent so many resources in their industry leading A-Series chips.

"I don't need this A13 performance to open Instagram" is going to look pretty silly. Apple has been building this technology for the larger picture.
[automerge]1579115939[/automerge]


If ya can't beat em, buy em...

Yeah, I'm sure Apple was shaking in their boots at competing with a $200M AI startup.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


I love the headline "Apple Acquires...."

Then in the article: "Apple is said to have paid around $200 million for Xnor.ai, and while both Apple and Xnor.ai have declined to comment on the potential acquisition, much of the Xnor.ai website has been taken offline and GeekWire says that a move from the Xnor.ai offices is taking place in Seattle."

Hey Macrumors editor in chief! That's what we (in the news industry) call a "rumor based on speculation".

I know times are getting really tough for writers/publishers... believe me I know. But please ensure your headlines honestly reflect the nature of the story. It's a standard we all rely on for ethical reporting. (This was likely an error, but one that should not have happened given the very nature of the content on this site.)

You realize that Apple has confirmed via Axios, right? Maybe it's time you get off your soapbox.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


BTW, AI is NO smarter than whoever is coding the algorithms !

That’s like saying you will never be smarter than your parents. AI is proven to do things, such as making up languages to communicate with other AI that are more efficient that what they are programmed to use. They can go way beyond what their minders can monitor.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
11 weeks ago


Probably intent to bolster their Siri offerings.

There's a significant gap that Siri needs to pick up on to keep up to date featurewise with Amazon's or Google's AI work.

I don't think Apple has done a terrible job, but it's clear that on their own they haven't quite the same level of success as their competitors. Likely this will be a big injection of technology, and smart people.

I'm the biggest Apple fan, but even I have to say Apple has done a terrible job with Siri. Not so much with its recognition abilities - which I view on par with Google and Alexa - but with Siri without a network. I mean, come on!, why do I need a network connection for Siri to be able to change the volume on my iPhone Nothing more frustrating than using APPLE AirPods - which need Siri for pretty much everything - and not being able to do the most basic things without a network.

I hope this acquisition is an indication that Apple is finally getting off its a$$ and - after, what, a decade? - makes more of Siri available on-device.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch as Soon as Tomorrow

Thursday April 2, 2020 4:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new low-cost iPhone is set to launch as early as Friday, April 3, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites a tip from a "highly trusted reader." The site says that while it can't be certain about the launch date, "Apple could reveal and begin taking orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow." The iPhone 8 Apple is said to be planning to call the new iPhone, which is...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

Apple Paid Hacker $75,000 for Uncovering Zero-Day Camera Exploits in Safari

Friday April 3, 2020 3:58 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple paid out $75,000 to a hacker for identifying multiple zero-day vulnerabilities in its software, some of which could be used to hijack the camera on a MacBook or an iPhone, according to Forbes. A zero-day vulnerability refers to a security hole in software that is unknown to the software developer and the public, although it may already be known by attackers who are quietly exploiting...

iPhone 8 Screen Protector Updated With 'iPhone SE' Compatibility on Apple's Online Store

Thursday April 2, 2020 8:10 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Another clue has surfaced to suggest that Apple's rumored lower-cost iPhone SE successor will likely be released soon. Earlier today, a product listing for a Belkin screen protector on Apple's online store was updated to reflect compatibility with not only the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, but also the iPhone SE. Given the original iPhone SE was a 4-inch device, and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...