Apple Acquires Datakalab Startup to Boost AI Efforts, Data Privacy 

Apple announced on Monday the acquisition of French AI startup, Datakalab, as the giant further pushes efforts in the field.

Apple announced on Monday the acquisition of French AI startup, Datakalab, as the giant further pushes efforts in the field of intelligent technology.  

According to the French business magazine Challenges, the acquisition was finalized in December 2023, disclosed in a European Commission filing. While the deal itself was recently revealed, the financial aspect of the bid was not revealed, as it is considered as a part of Apple’s broader strategy to reinforce its AI features for on device use, and mainly integrate into the upcoming iOS 18 update.  

Why Datakalab? 

The Parisian-based startup was founded in 2016 by Xavier and Lucas Fischer with a focus on the development of AI technologies, specifically low-power, high-efficiency deep learning that can be operated without the need for cloud-based systems. 

The French startup’s knowledge and expertise in image analysis and this form of intelligent technology could help the iOS developer integrate AI features in its devices.  

For instance, enhanced image processing technology can be crucial for the enhancement of many applications on Apple devices, such as facial recognition, therefore improving the accuracy of tasks related to images. 

Datakalab also handles projects related to monitoring flows in public spaces by using real time analysis and the tech giant is to leverage this to strengthen real-time processing capacity for applications that require direct feedback, such as live translations or on-device processing for Siri. 

The French startup also provides privacy centric AI solutions by focusing on making data unidentifiable and processing statical data locally, a factor that very well aligns with iPhone parent’s commitment to ensuring and safeguarding its users’ privacy. By using such solutions, Datakalab could assist Apple in developing its own AI features that handle sensitive data directly on the device, without the need to save it or send it elsewhere. 

According to Bloomberg, Apple is recently working on the development of its own large language models (LLM) that will entirely run on its own products without relying on cloud-based systems. The report further shared that the company could enhance its offerings by licensing technology from other AI service providers like Google. 

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