The Information reports that Apple has acquired a machine learning startup based in Silicon Valley called Laserlike. The startup was founded four years ago by three former Google engineers — Anand Shukla, Srinivasan VEnkatachary, and Steven Baker.
The startup had so far managed to raise $24 million from Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures.
The team offered an AI-powered “interest search engine” that provided users with news, web, video, and local content according to their interest. Since the acquisition, Laserlike’s app has been pulled from the App Store. However, the website continues to remain live which highlights what the startup was all about.
We live in a world of information abundance, where the main problem is sifting through the noise and discovering the stuff you actually care about. For instance, if you care about knowing when the next SpaceX livestream launch is because you like to watch it with your kids, or if the car you bought two years ago has had a recall, or if a company you’re interested in announces it’s opening a new office where you live, or if there’s a music festival coming to your town, you don’t know when to look for these things, and there’s no product that informs you automatically.
This is one of the things we want to fix on the Internet. Laserlike’s core mission is to deliver high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web. We are passionate about helping people follow their interests and engage with new perspectives.
Apple on its part has confirmed the acquisition of Laserlike, though it did not reveal other terms and details of the transaction. The Laserlike team will work in the Apple AI group that is being led by AI chief John Giannandrea.
Apple will likely use the AI prowess of Laserlike to improve Siri and its upcoming Apple News Magazines subscription service. Apple could also use their expertise to improve the recommendation engine throughout their various services.
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