Apple Acquires Startup Laserlike To Boost Siri: Report


Apple has acquired a startup specializing in machine-learning technologies as part of the ramp up of its artificial intelligence group led by a former Google executive, according to a report.

The startup, Laserlike, was founded by three ex-Google engineers and will join the AI group headed by Google’s former AI chief, John Giannandrea, The Information reported Wednesday.

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Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, reportedly confirmed the acquisition to The Information.

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The acquisition could give a boost to Apple's efforts at developing its voice-controlled assistant Siri, which has lagged behind Amazon's Alexa and the Google Assistant on AI capabilities despite having a significant headstart.

Giannandrea was brought on in April 2018 to head up Apple's machine learning and AI strategy, including Siri. He has since carried out a "significant overhaul" of the Siri team, The Information reported.

Founded in 2015, Mountain View, Calif.-based Laserlike had raised $24.1 million in funding, according to funding database Crunchbase.

The startup's technology has focused on providing users with "high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web," Laserlike said on its website.

The company has developed a "web scale" platform for content search, discovery and personalization using machine-learning technologies, the Laserlike website says.