Apple acquires machine learning start-up Inductiv Inc

28 May 2020

Image: © Nikolay N. Antonov/

The latest AI company to be snapped up by Apple is Ontario-based machine learning start-up Inductiv Inc.

On Wednesday (27 May), Bloomberg reported that Apple has acquired machine learning start-up Inductiv Inc. The company confirmed the deal to Bloomberg, stating that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time” and that it does not generally discuss its purpose or plans for acquisitions.

This is one of many AI-related acquisitions that Apple has made recently. Last month, it acquired Dublin start-up Voysis, which had developed tech to help digital voice assistants understand natural language interactions.

The company also recently acquired Seattle-based AI start-up, which developed technology for running deep learning models on edge devices such as phones, IoT devices and embedded CPUs.

It was reported that the tech from these three deals could be used for developing elements of Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

Inductiv Inc

Inductiv, which is based in Ontario, was co-founded by professors from Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Waterloo. One of the professors involved, Christopher Ré, previously co-founded Lattice Data, which was acquired by Apple in 2017 for $200m.

The Canadian start-up has developed technology that uses AI to identify and correct errors in datasets. According to Bloomberg, the company is now working on machine learning and data science projects with Apple, as well as working on Apple’s voice assistant, Siri.

Bloomberg also reported that John Giannandrea, the Apple executive in charge of Siri and machine learning, has been working to upgrade the underlying technology behind Siri and other AI-powered products the company has developed.

Mashable suggested that Apple may currently be looking at ways to make Siri a stronger competitor to other popular virtual assistants on the market, such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

At present, it is unclear whether Ré and his co-founders Theodoros Rekatsinas and Ihab Ilyas will join Apple as part of the acquisition deal.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic