Apple has acquired a startup specializing in machine-learning technologies as part of the ramp up of its artificial intelligence group led by a former Google executive, according to a report.
The Cupertino tech giant later confirmed the acquisition with the standard cut-and-paste statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our goal or plans".
The Laserlike app, which has been removed from the App Store and Google Play, was a "web scale content search, discovery and personalization platform using advanced machine learning", according to its creators. "Your feed is created by you, for you-it understands your changing interests and habits as your mind explores the breadth online content. Laserlike is tackling reliability and relevance concerns in the information consumption space, but the innovative search technology our app is based on is capable of so much more".
"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", the firm says on its about page.
"Laserlike's core mission is to deliver high-quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web", the now-defunct startup's mission statement reads. "We are passionate about helping people follow their interests and engage with new perspectives".
According to The Information's sources, Laserlike's team has joined Apple's newly-formed AI group headed by John Giannandrea, who was promoted to senior vice president in December after being hired from Google past year. It may also be used to boost Siri's general knowledge, so results wouldn't have to just come from a search engine.