According to reports, the startup aims to streamline AI applications on smartphones so they aren’t as reliant on external data.
As several AAPL customers have noted, when there’s an unreliable Internet connection and Siri can’t access “the cloud” to perform searches … well, you sometimes wind up dialing your cousin instead of getting directions to local Italian restaurants.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it’s the second artificial acquisition in recent weeks for Apple Inc., with the other being a U.K.-based software startup called VocalIQ that works on digital assistants much like Siri, but capable of carrying on longer discussions with users about what they want or need.
There’s clearly a move at Apple to run down artificial intelligence. But AAPL isn’t the first tech giant to figure out the potential in this field, and that’s why Apple has been forced to make some recent acquisitions even if the immediate impact of AI isn’t clear.
Rival Google Inc. — or Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), as the parent company is now known — purchased DeepMind for around $400 million in 2014, and followed that up with the purchase of other AI firms later that year including Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory.
Facebook Inc. (FB) was also in the hunt for Deep Mind before Google acquired it, but has since poached a number of respected Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) employees who worked on various software platforms at the company with AI potential.
Nobody knows where Apple Inc. is headed, or how any artificial intelligence operations will impact the bottom line of AAPL stock in the coming years. For now, it’s clear that investors are mostly concerned with China iPhone sales instead of any innovation that may pay dividends in the distant future.
But AAPL stock is known for its innovative qualities, and even though Steve Jobs is no longer at the helm, there are still many smart people at Apple thinking about the future.
Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly part of that future at AAPL.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.
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