Apple just paid $200 million for AI startup Xnor.ai, which focuses on deployment of AI technology in various sectors. The company has technical know-how in matters of energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint in the context of artificial intelligence. Apple hopes to improve deployment of its AI on devices and enhance edge computing in Core ML 3 toolkit. This toolkit is meant for app developers.
What is Xnor.ai all about?
Xnor has extensive experience in the fields of cameras, drones, and smartphones. The question of drones is interesting, as this may point towards Apple’s ambitions in the field of deliveries and data collection.
Xnor came to eminence when it used a solar panel on top of an FPGA chip. The resulting technology could power a computer vision model without the need for batteries. Much later, in May 2019, the company became famous for its AI2Go, an edge computing platform. This Seattle based company was founded in 2017, and managed to raise close to $15 million.
Considering the amount that Apple paid to purchase Xnor.ai, several things are clear:
- Apple takes AI very seriously, and has some profound plans for the future in the realm of artificial intelligence
- Apple may try and dabble in drone technology, giving a stiff competition to Amazon
- The company may also deploy AI based applications on its devices
- Energy efficiency of AI technology is a huge topic, and reduction of carbon footprint will continue to dominate boardroom discussions
- Apple is continuing to acquire startups that are innovative and insightful in the area of carbon footprint reduction
What does Apple’s acquisition of Xnor.ai indicate?
Apple’s strategy of acquiring new start-ups seems to be fuelled by its need to compete with other major players such as Amazon and Google. Further, it also seems to be taking artificial intelligence very seriously. In the same breath, reduction of carbon footprint in AI deployment will continue to be a topic of discussion.
In addition, startups that dabble in AI with a strong basis in energy efficiency may have greater rate of acquisition. Finally, one may see more AI-enabled applications and tools on iOS and Mac OS devices.