Apple has purchased a U.K.-based startup called VocalIQ. The company apparently focuses on natural language processing technology, which allows users to speak to their devices in a more natural fashion, like the technology already behind Siri. VocalIQ specifically uses machine learning to build out its services, an area that Apple has shown an increased interest in as of late.
From the Financial Times:
While VocalIQ's speech processing and machine learning technology could be incorporated into devices from wearables to the connected home, the company was particularly focused on in-car applications. This included a collaboration with General Motors.
When asked about the acquisition, Apple gave its standard response:
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," Apple said in a statement confirming the deal.
Apple has reportedly been pursuing new hires in artificial intelligence and machine learning for some time now. Apple has also made some strides in more consumer-facing artificial intelligence features, particularly with iOS 9, which includes smarter search and a more intelligent Siri.
Source: Financial Times