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Report: Apple buys artificial intelligence startup

Apple Inc. acquired XNOR.ai, a Seattle-based developer of artificial intelligence tools, GeekWire reported Jan. 15, citing sources with knowledge of the deal.

The iPhone maker reportedly bought XNOR.ai in the range of $200 million, or about the same amount it paid to acquire AI startup Turi Inc. in 2016.

Apple said it buys smaller tech firms from time to time without discussing the plans or purpose. The company could reportedly use XNOR.ai's image recognition tools in its future iPhone and webcam models.

XNOR.ai was spun off from the startup incubator of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a research institute created by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, according to GeekWire. KITT.ai, the incubator's first product, was acquired by Chinese tech company Baidu Inc. in 2017.