Here’s why Apple just bought an AI startup for $200 million

Apple acquires AI start-up likely for A-Series SoC's Neural Engines
Apple’s revolutionary A13 Bionic chip

One of the major points of differentiation between Apple and other tech companies is Cupertino’s commitment to user privacy. This is why Apple works to conduct on-device AI rather than in the cloud. This also helps to explain why Apple just bought an AI startup for $200 million.

Danny Vena for The Motley Fool:

Apple has reportedly acquired AI start-up Xnor.ai for about $200 million… Xnor specializes in developing complex AI systems that are extremely efficient, able to use minimal amounts of power and run locally on devices like smartphones rather than by transmitting information to remote data centers. The company has also created algorithms that specialize in capturing and processing images on small devices, a computing-intensive task that has historically been accomplished in the cloud…

The technology Apple is gaining could be used to improve future versions of the iPhone by augmenting its existing camera capabilities, or it could be used by developers to create apps as part of the company’s Core ML (machine learning) toolkit. It also continues a multiyear push by Apple to run AI on its devices as a way to help ensure the privacy of its users.

MacDailyNews Take: On-device, versus having to depend on the cloud, is crucial for the high level of user privacy to which Apple is firmly committed.

7 Comments

  1. While Apple uses some local-based AI, all the other tech companies will be using the more intelligent cloud-based AI solution because most major tech companies don’t concern themselves about privacy or security and they still do well. Consumers only care about getting the best data they can get no matter where it comes from. Most consumers simply don’t concern themselves about privacy or security, so I wonder why Apple does. Facebook and Google can steal all the data they want and never have to worry about the consequences. Despite all the data breaches and federal investigations, Facebook’s value is at an all-time high and almost no one has deleted their Facebook accounts. That has to be solid proof consumers aren’t concerned about privacy or security issues.

    1. As a long-time follower of Apple, you know they have a long history of engineering from the end user’s experience back to their devices. This sets them apart in their particular field. While your assessment of a majority of folks is correct, there are a significant amount of folks, hopefully a growing number, who want privacy. It’s interesting to see a growing number of businesses committed to end user privacy; Duck Duck Go, Brave, MeWe, etc. I hope those of us who desire privacy continue to support the companies that provide it. The more profitable privacy becomes the more options we’ll have without Government regulations.

    2. You do not exclude yourself from the category of consumers you mention so you have a too lazy attitude about privacy but I care. So, for my sake, I want you to joyn me and Apple to promote Apple’s maximum effort to promote privacy.

  2. You make a good point. I suppose Apple is not looking to sell the masses, most who don’t care about privacy, but targets the higher end consumer willing to spend a bit more for security and privacy features. It’s how they keep their per unit gross margin and average selling price well above industry averages. Neither strategy is wrong.

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