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Apple acquires UK based AI startup Perceptio

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Apple has acquired Perceptio, a stealth mode UK based startup which develops tech which lets companies run artificial intelligence (AI) systems on smartphones without sharing much user data, for an undisclosed amount reports Bloomberg. Colin Johnson, an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Meanwhile, a US based marketing company, also called Perceptio, had a field day with traffic, given its name.

The bootstrapped Perceptio, the report stated, worked on developing methods to run AI image classification systems on smartphones; while its founders Nicolas Pinto and Zak Stone were AI researchers specialising in developing image recognition systems with the help of deep learning. Pinto and Stone also made a photo app called Smoothie which lets users capture a video, scrub or forward it, which will be saved as a GIF or a video, according to this re/code report.

VocalIQ acquisition
Last week, VentureBeat reported that Apple had bought a UK based AI startup called VocalIQ (whose website does not currently work) which would help Siri make longer conversations. The company’s software apparently lets computers and people speak to each other in a ‘more natural way’, and uses deep learning to understand the words’ context. The report added that the company sells its natural language database as a service to app developers who can add it to their apps as a personal assistant. The platform stores and learns information from the user’s app usage to tweak and provide relevant future answers.

AppleTV Siri integration
At its latest special event, the company announced that Apple TV got Siri integration, and would allow users to make voice searches like “that one Modern Family episode with Edward Norton” to display relevant Modern Family episodes. Read more about the event here.

Siri to source app data for better voice search
In June, at the WWDC, Apple announced that Siri would be able to source all the data from the user’s phone, including app data and user contacts, to make voice search better. For example, the voice assistant can search for photos based on the date and location it was taken, set contextual reminders, integrate with Apple Music etc. Apple also upgraded Spotlight, its search for OS X and iOS 9, with better natural language processing to understand terms like “Open photos from my vacation last year.”

iPhone sales up
Apple sold 47.53 million iPhones in the quarter ended July 2015, up 35% from 35.2 million iPhones in the same quarter last year. Overall, this segment reported revenues of $31.36 billion for the quarter, registering a 58.78% growth from $19.75 billion in the corresponding quarter last year. iPhone sales accounted for 63.22% of Apple’s total revenues, up from 56.3% in the previous quarter and 47% in the same quarter last year.

Check out our Apple coverage here. Also more on AI from WaitButWhy here and here

Image Credit: Deviantart

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