Turi specializes in enabling developers to imbue software applications with artificial intelligence, so the apps learn to think more the way people do. Apple declined to elaborate the deal for Seattle-based Turi, telling AFP that it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Technology news website GeekWire cited people close to the acquisition as pegging the purchase price at USD 200 million.
Apple has been stepping up its artificial intelligence efforts to compete against rival services from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Improving machine learning capabilities of its Siri virtual assistant could enable it to better understand intent behind commands or queries spoken by users.
Siri is spreading from Apple mobile devices to its Mac computer system, allowing users of the PCs to search their machines or the Internet with voice commands, according to recent announcements from the Silicon Valley based company.
The move expands the footprint for Siri, which is facing increased competition from Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Google Now, which also use artificial intelligence.