Apple's big AI push continues as tech giant acquires Canadian startup — DarwinAI employees join Apple's artificial intelligence division

iPhone 15 Pro with a titanium finish running iOS 17
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Apple has continued its push towards generative AI in the build-up to the release of iOS 18 with the purchase of DarwinAI, a Canadian startup. 

In a report from Mark Gurman via Bloomberg, insiders have revealed that Apple acquired the business earlier this year with DarwinAI’s employees now joining the artificial intelligence division at the tech giant. 

According to Gurman, “DarwinAI has developed AI technology for visually inspecting components during the manufacturing process and serves customers in a range of industries. But one of its core technologies is making artificial intelligence systems smaller and faster. That work that could be helpful to Apple, which is focused on running AI on devices rather than entirely in the cloud.”

When asked about the acquisition, Apple told Bloomberg that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time” but didn’t reveal any further plans. This purchase of DarwinAI comes off the back of Apple’s decision to cancel the Apple Car and move some of the team on that project toward its generative AI development.

iOS 18 boosted by AI

Apple is said to be adding generative AI features to the upcoming iOS 18 update for the best iPhones which is likely to be revealed at WWDC in June. Competitors like Samsung and Google have implemented clever ways of using the technology and Apple will be keen to catch up with its own take on something akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Gurman adds, “Despite having acquired more AI companies than most rivals over the past decade, Apple has fallen behind in the generative AI market.” With the purchase of DarwinAI and the rumors of huge AI improvements coming to iOS 18 are we about to see Apple surpass its competitors?

We’ve heard of rumblings from within Cupertino of AppleGPT and with rumors rampant, we’ll continue to hear more before WWDC comes around.

More from iMore

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.