Apple Acquires French AI Company Specializing in On-Device Processing

Apple has acquired the Paris-based artificial intelligence startup Datakalab amid its push to deliver on-device AI tools.

hey siri banner apple
Datakalab specializes in algorithm compression and embedded AI systems. The acquisition, finalized on December 17 last year, was quietly conducted but noted in a European Commission filing spotted by French publication Challenges (via iPhoneSoft). While the financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed, the move is almost certainly part of Apple's broader strategy to bring more sophisticated AI technology to its devices, such as those expected to be introduced in iOS 18.

The company was established in 2016 by Xavier and Lucas Fischer and made significant strides in AI technology focusing on low-power, high-efficiency deep learning algorithms that function without relying on cloud-based systems. This approach aligns with Apple's oft-touted commitment to user privacy, data security, and reliable performance, as processing data locally minimizes the risk of data breaches and ensures faster processing times. The startup's expertise in compressing neural networks to work effectively on portable devices like smartphones and tablets is likely a key factor in Apple's interest.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported that Apple's LLM will run entirely on-device, rather than via the cloud like most existing AI services. Apple's AI tools may be less capable in certain instances than its direct cloud-based rivals, but Gurman suggested that the company could "fill in the gaps" by licensing technology from Google and other AI service providers.

Before its acquisition, Datakalab engaged in various high-profile projects, including collaborations with the French government and Disney. The company developed technology capable of analyzing human emotions by facial recognition and visual data, which were later used to monitor audience reactions in real-time during cinema screenings. The first look at Apple's new AI strategy is widely anticipated to arrive alongside previews of its next-generation operating systems at WWDC in early June.

Top Rated Comments

WWPD Avatar
4 weeks ago
Oh great, the French.

Hey Siri, what is today's weather?

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bodhisattva Avatar
4 weeks ago
WWDC is certainly going to be interesting this year!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PeterKeller Avatar
4 weeks ago
I fear all this AI talk is simply required to keep the stock price in the same league as all of the other tech companies that are doing stuff with AI. MacBook Air "Best Laptop for AI". What? Why would you even say that? Oh, because it's a buzzword.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boswald Avatar
4 weeks ago
I'm sure the inevitable "doom 'n' gloom" pain train will plow right through this article (like everything else), but I, for one, am glad they're branching out and buying up important startups to expand their AI efforts. Yes, it's not homegrown, but at least they're putting forth the effort.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Torty Avatar
4 weeks ago
So apple tries to catch up in buying other companies. Takes time to integrate and get results. Seems not enough know how available in-house.
Can’t be too much for iOS 18.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tito360 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Takes like 10 years for Apple to implement something
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...