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13 Mar 2018

Google and Apple are competing to acquire promising AI start-ups

Apple and Google battle to acquire AI firms

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gradually coming of age and consistently improving to find new uses - from smartphones to self-driving cars, health care to business solutions, you name it.

Understandably, AI has become an integral part of a tech company which explains the rise in acquisitions of such firms.

And now, it's Google Vs Apple, in a tight race to acquire AI start-ups.

In context

Apple and Google battle to acquire AI firms
The race has just begun

Google Vs Apple

The race has just begun

In terms of AI start-up acquisitions, from 2013 to 2017, the Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity has significantly increased.

Currently, Google has close to 14 acquisitions while Apple has 13 acquisitions under its belt.

And, knowing that Google and Apple have acquired the most AI firms since 2012, one can say that the race to acquire AI start-ups has just begun.


Google has been searching for promising start-ups since 2012

In 2013, Google acquired DNNresearch to power its image-search engine and next year, it acquired Britain's DeepMind Technologies for a total of $500 million. It later rebranded it to Google DeepMind.

In 2016, the tech giant acquired API.ai which powered several of Google Assistant's capabilities.

Notably, last year alone, Google acquired three AI start-ups - Halli Labs, Kaggle and AIMatter - for undisclosed amounts.

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Now, Apple is Google's biggest and closest competitor

The AI race

Now, Apple is Google's biggest and closest competitor

While Google leads the charge, Apple is its closest competitor with 13 acquisitions since its foray into AI. In 2010, Apple acquired Siri from SRI International and popularized AI assistants on mobile devices.

In 2017 alone, Apple has acquired a few AI start-ups with the most recent being Pop Up Archive, RealFace, Lattice (for $200 million), and Regaind and SensoMotoric Instruments for undisclosed amounts.

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