Apple acquires AI startup Silk Labs

San Francisco: Apple has acquired a Startup called Silk Labs that works on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based personal assistant technology for smartphones and smart home devices.

According to a report in The Registrar, the quietly-done acquisition for an undisclosed sum is aimed at strengthening Apple’s AI capabilities towards smart home devices.

Silk Labs had about a dozen employees and raised approximately $4 million in funding, said the report.

According to TechCrunch, Silk Labs is the brainchild of Andreas Gal, the former CTO of Mozilla, who had also created the mobile platform Firefox OS and Michael Vines from Qualcomm.

Apple is working hard towards improving its AI-enabled products, including HomePod smart speaker which is behind Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Amazon and Google accounted for 70 per cent share of the global smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2018, with Apple selling 600,000 HomePods in the period.

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter of 2018.