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Apple Acquires On-Device AI Startup For $200M: Report

The Xnor.ai technology could be used for image recognition on iPhones along with providing AI on edge devices.

Apple has acquired a startup with technology for enabling high-speed artificial intelligence on devices, according to a report.

The report from GeekWire says Apple has paid roughly $200 million for the acquisition of Seattle-based Xnor.ai, which spun out of a research organization founded by Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder.

[Related: Head-To-Head: Apple iPhone 11 Vs. iPhone XR]

The Xnor.ai technology was spun out of the Allen Institute for AI, also known as AI2, in 2017.

The GeekWire report said that Apple's uses for the technology could include integrating Xnor's AI-based image recognition into the iPhone.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May 2018, Xnor.ai announced raising a $12 million Series A round "to unlock the next wave of AI adoption, shifting AI from the cloud to run locally on intelligent devices," the company said in a news release.

The company's technology at the time could enable "AI experiences that are up to 10x faster, 200 percent more power efficient, and use 15x less memory"—allowing deep learning to run "directly on phones, IoT devices and low power microprocessors."

In May 2019, the company debuted a self-serve platform, dubbed AI2GO, aimed at allowing developers to produce artificially intelligent edge solutions even without an AI background.

Xnor.ai has pulled down all content from its website, besides a homepage that reads, "transform your business with on-device AI."

An archived version of a page on the Xnor website says the company has provided custom solutions to customers in verticals including home security, automotive and entertainment.

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