Apple Buys AI Startup Tuplejump to Enhance Siri - Dispatch Weekly

September 23, 2016 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Apple has bought Tuplejump, an India/US-based machine learning startup after previously acquiring similar companies Perceptio, VocalIQ, Turi, Emollient and Faceshift in the last two years.

What is Tuplejump?

Above: Tuplejump founders Rohit Rai, left, and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu, present at the 2013 Spark Summit. Image Credit: Screenshot
Above: Tuplejump founders Rohit Rai, left, and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu, present at the 2013 Spark Summit.
Image Credit: Screenshot

Tuplejump specializes in BigData, Data Engineering, Apache Cassandra and Apache Spark.

Tuplejump’s Linkedin page describes the startup as a data-engineering platform:

“That unifies and optimizes workflows for engineers, analysts and data scientists by bringing in a fresh experience to data processing and reporting.”

“With a modern visualization framework built on the latest technologies with great flexibility in sharing and embedding.”

Why Did Apple Acquire Tuplejump?

According to TechCrunch reports, Apple bought Tuplejump for its “FiloDB” an opensource project, applying machine learning concepts and analytics to massive amounts of complex data, headed by Evan Chan.

Although terms of the deal are not known, it is estimated that Apple paid less than Turi, which was bought for $200 million earlier this year.

Photo Credit: Flickr
Photo Credit: Flickr

Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Apple’s quarterly earnings call that:

“We have focused our AI efforts on the features that best enhance the customer experience.”

“For example, machine learning enables Siri to understand words as well as the intent behind them.”

“That means Siri does a better job understanding and even predicting what you want, then delivering the right responses to requests.”

Apple Opening Up Siri to Third-Party Developers

Cook also mentioned at WWDC 2016 that Apple was opening up Siri to third-party developers:

“To make Siri an even smarter assistant, we’re opening the service to developers, and this fall Siri will be available across our entire product line.”

“We’re also using machine learning in many other ways across our products and services, including recommending songs, apps, and news.”

Artificial Intelligence: the Statistics

  • More than $300 million in venture capital was invested in AI startups in 2014, a 300% increase over the year before (Bloomberg).
  • By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human (Gartner).
  • 44% of executives believe artificial intelligence’s most important benefit is “automated communications that provide data that can be used to make decisions” (Narrative Science).
  • By 2018, six billion connected devices will ask for support (Gartner).
  • Artificial intelligence will replace 16% of American jobs by the end of the decade (Forrester).

Apple Invests in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is changing how we use products, anticipating appropriate responses for a faster, more automatic experience.

At present 15% of Apple phone owners users use Siri’s voice recognition capabilities. (BGR)

Tim Cook stated that, “Machine learning is improving facial and image recognition in photos, predicting word choice while typing in messages and mail, and providing context awareness in maps for better directions.”

“Deep learning within our products even enables them to recognize usage patterns and improve their own battery life.”

“And most importantly, we deliver these intelligent services while protecting users’ privacy. Most of the AI processing takes place on the device rather than being sent to the cloud.”

According to Garner, by 2020, smart agents will manage 40% of mobile interactions, making AI a burgeoning area for mobile and digital platforms.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.