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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Apple's Latest Catch: AI Startup DarwinAI

Image credits: Sumudu Mohottige / Unsplash

Apple has recently added another feather to its AI cap with the acquisition of DarwinAI, a Canadian startup specialising in vision-based technology to oversee manufacturing components.

The goal? To boost efficiency.

The deal between Apple and DarwinAI hasn't been officially announced. However, the LinkedIn profiles of several DarwinAI team members reveal that they joined Apple's machine learning teams in January.

DarwinAI had previously raised over £11 million in funding from various investors, including BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund, Honeywell Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Inovia Capital. BDC Capital has confirmed an exit from DarwinAI on its website, while Obvious Ventures has updated its portfolio to indicate that the startup has been acquired.

DarwinAI's technology could be a game-changer for Apple. The startup uses techniques to make AI models smaller and faster, which could be beneficial for on-device generative AI features that Apple plans to introduce in iOS 18 this year.

Apple has been somewhat behind in releasing GenAI-powered features compared to competitors like OpenAI, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. However, during a quarterly earnings call with analysts in February, CEO Tim Cook announced plans to introduce such features "later this year."

Last year, Cook confirmed investment into GenAI efforts. Apple’s job listings suggest that the company is exploring the integration of AI in multiple internal and external areas, including Siri, developer tools, and customer support.

With the acquisition of DarwinAI, Apple is certainly making strides in its AI journey. It's a space to watch!

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