Apple Gets AI Technology Boost

 Apple Gets AI Technology Boost
The company has acquired Silk Labs, a startup with a special focus on privacy.

(CCM) — Apple has beefed up its in-house artificial intelligence (AI) resources with the acquisition of an AI startup called Silk Labs, Engadget is reporting.

The company was founded in 2015 by Andreas Gal, the former chief technology officer of Mozilla — the maker of the Firefox web browser.

The acquisition follows Apple's poaching of Google's former head of AI to spearhead a new AI team which will work on the Siri intelligent assistant and smart home products such as the company's HomePod speaker.

Silk Labs released a smart camera back in 2016 which was designed for home monitoring. The Sense had facial and object recognition technologies that could recognize people and pets, and also play music based on recognized individuals' tastes. Most importantly, the product had a strong focus on privacy, according to the report. For example, its technology only sent "key" video snippets to the cloud instead of all captured video, and according to the company it anonymized the data stored on its Silk Intelligence platform.

It is likely that Apple plans to develop this technology to sell home products with privacy as a unique selling point. Rivals Facebook and Google already offer smart devices with displays, but neither has a good privacy track record, the report concludes.

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