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John Giannandrea, now head of Apple's AI efforts, in 2017. Photo by Bloomberg

Apple Acquires Machine Learning Startup in Boost for AI Group

By  |  March 13, 2019 11:57 AM PDT
Photo: John Giannandrea, now head of Apple's AI efforts, in 2017. Photo by Bloomberg

Apple has acquired Laserlike, a small Silicon Valley-based machine learning startup, which could help strengthen the company’s artificial intelligence efforts, including its Siri virtual assistant, The Information has learned.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition of the four-year-old startup, which was founded by three former Google engineers, Anand Shukla, Srinivasan Venkatachary and Steven Baker, and had raised more than $24 million from Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures, according to CrunchBase. Terms of the deal could not be learned. Laserlike had built a smartphone app, now no longer available in Google and Apple’s mobile app stores, that let users follow topics in which they were interested, such as news, music and sports.

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