Alphabet is seen as the tech industry’s top destination for artificial intelligence engineers and scientists. But Alphabet also has been more aggressive in acquiring AI startups than other tech firms. Its Google unit bought nine between January 2014 and the end of November 2016, nearly twice as many as the second-most active firm, Apple. That’s according to new data from advisory firm CEB.
In contrast, several other big tech firms that have been active in AI-related technology, including Amazon.com, Microsoft and Facebook, bought only two startups in that period. (See above chart for details.) On Monday came news that Amazon was buying another, startup Harvest.ai, which uses machine learning to prevent security breaches.