Apple has confirmed that it has purchased a specialist artificial intelligence company named Perceptio.
Bloomberg reports that it has received Apple's usual canned response in such situations: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Perceptio makes software that enables the running of complex A.I. systems on smartphones without the need to store vast amounts of user data in the cloud.
In particular, the company has specialised in AI software that classifies images using deep learning rather than having to crunch through reams of information.
This fits in perfectly with Apple's privacy policies, and its desire to minimise the exploitation of its customers' personal data. It's been speculated that Apple might want to use Perceptio's expertise to improve Siri.
Apple's reluctance to use its customers' personal data for its personal assistant tool has led to Siri dropping behind rivals such as Google Now and Cortana, which have no compunction with using such data.
If that proves to be true, it would represent a large Siri push on Apple's part. Last week Apple acquired VocalIQ, a UK-based startup that specialises in speech processing and machine learning technology.
VocalIQ specialises in enabling "real conversation" between humans, devices and the internet of things, which would have obvious applications to Siri.
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