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Apple is looking to up its artificial intelligence game

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Apple gadgets could soon become much more adept at predicting user needs, judging by a report claiming the firm is greatly expanding the number of AI employees it has on staff.

Reuters says Cupertino is seeking 86 new employees to work on Machine Learning projects in a bid to challenge leaders in the space like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Apple is also looking to hire a host of PhD students currently in the field, according to the report.

The firm is already seeking to make Siri more “pro-active” within iOS 9 as it seeks to match personal assistants like Google Now and Amazon’s new Alexa platform within the Echo speaker.

Facebook is also working on an ‘M’ assistant within Messenger that will ‘complete tasks’ for users, without them having to leave the app.

However, experts are already predicting Apple’s hard line on privacy, compared to the likes of Google and Facebook might make it hard for the company to get to know users well enough to make accurate predictions.

See also: Apple iPhone 6S review

While other giants are happy to track users every step of the way, Apple has often preached a less invasive approach when it comes to collating user data.

"They want to make a phone that responds to you very quickly without knowledge of the rest of the world," said Joseph Gonzalez, co-founder of Dato told Reuters. "It's harder to do that."

What exactly does Apple have in mind? Maybe we'll hear more about Apple's efforts at its big event on Wednesday?

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