Apple Purchases AI Device Startup Silk Labs

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has acquired Silk Labs, an AI startup that focuses on making AI software "lightweight enough" for consumer hardware like cameras and speakers, reports The Information.

    Apple purchased Silk Labs, a small startup with approximately a dozen employees, earlier this year. Silk's website says that it aims to "bring next-generation visual and audio intelligence to connected products" with "state-of-the-art image and audio recognition."


    Silk's site suggests its technology has a number of potential uses for home security, retail analytics, package monitoring, digital display metrics, access control, parking lot monitoring, and building surveillance with capabilities like people detection, facial recognition, audio detection, object recognition.

    Silk used to have a blog where its technology was explained, but it is defunct, as is the company's Twitter account, which has not been updated since 2017. The company's website, does, however, provide insight into its technology, though there's no word on how Apple might be planning to use it. Silk, like Apple, is said to be focused on a privacy-forward AI experience.

    The company did come out with a product called Sense, which debuted on Kickstarter three years ago. Sense was designed to be a "digital brain" for smart home products, communicating with them to improve interoperability and to learn a person's smart home needs over time.

    The startup was founded by Andreas Gal, Chris Jones, and Michael Vines, with Gal previously serving as Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer.

    Article Link: Apple Purchases AI Device Startup Silk Labs
  2. cashville2400 macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2011
    Hope this turns into a success. This could become interesting.
  3. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Hoping to see continued improvement to Siri and other on device (or cloud) AI. Honestly think Siri has gotten far better at understanding me over the years, which is amazing considering their different stance on these services as opposed to Amazon and Google.

    Been frustrated with both platforms (Google & Apple) at times, equally, for different reasons.
  4. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    Apple Glass.

    Point at something, use a hand gesture, interact. easy.
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Agreed. I think most of us can agree with that statement.

    I just hope they consider security along with their privacy stance on these things. Tech security has become such a sieve anymore that almost nothing is safe from attack, breach or just plain old human error like leaving the front door open.

    I'm very happy for Apple's stance on privacy even if it means Siri sucks as it does. I gladly take that over Google or Amazon's smart devices that listen to everything and email your family and friends your private conversations!
  6. az431 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Hopefully this means I will someday be able tp unlock my front door without unlocking my phone first.
  7. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
  8. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
  9. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    Yet another company Apple buys and doesn't use to improve and innovate their software and products.
  10. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    I don't care too much about privacy. That narrative for me is not why I have been in the Apple ecosystem.

    If they improve Siri all around, then I'll turn it back on all my Apple devices.
  11. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    What's the grand plan because there's been no improvement to Siri from these acquisitions and hirings like the Google AI chief from six months ago?
  12. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    HomePod will get a new lease on life from this I hope.
  13. ryanwarsaw macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2007
    Hope the stock goes up. lol
    --- Post Merged, Nov 20, 2018 ---
    Apple has been making a few acquisitions these days.
  14. episodex macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2017
    Strange. Their social media accounts are dead. Kickstarter campaign page was removed and you can't check if they were funded and if they delivered anything during these 3 years. And suddenly they are bought by Apple. They must have had great sales person ;).
  15. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Most are still waiting for their wireless charging pad so don't hold your breath on this appearing soon
  16. WatchFromAfar macrumors 68000


    Jan 26, 2017
    That thinking is just plain baffling. Taken to its logical conclusion if Siri did nothing for you what so ever then yes Siri is respecting your privacy 100%; but it's useless at getting things done.
  17. confusedpurple macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2018
    Siri sucking (which it does, massively) is nothing at all to do with privacy, its more to do with a flawed design. They screwed up with Siri and are so deep in that its hard to fix now. Even something as simple as adding a new command means rolling out a new update AND creating that command on no less than SIX different iterations of Siri (there is not 1 Siri, there are multiple forks of the project, one for each OS Apple makes, as has already been widely established many times.

    Siri is without a doubt a complete and utter failure. The fact that it still fails at the most basic of tasks and questions is just shameful.
  18. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    I doubt that there’s been “no improvement” just because you found a reddit.
  19. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Great. They need all the help they can get.
  20. genovelle macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    When your bank account is hacked because someone gained access to the mountain of data being collected on you including reading your emails and transcripts of conversations with your bank, you will change your mind. It happened 3 times with a coworker who used her Android phone as her computer. Changed passwords, hacked, then closed the account still hacked again, changed to a Credit Union, next payday hacked. Got rid of her Android like I suggested from the start, no more hacks.

    Privacy is a function of Security. The more information that is stored outside of your control, the more likely you will be hacked.
  21. where is it macrumors 6502

    where is it

    Jun 19, 2012
    Your coworker must have been doing something very obscure, like remembering passwords in plain text on the Android to get hacked so consistently. Then moving to iPhone, let me guess, got introduced to Keychain or something?
  22. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    The really mind-blowing part is that everybody is willing to believe that those simple assistants like Siri need "the cloud" * to function. Once the voice-to-text part is done (which was a feature that IBM OS/2 Warp 4 already had built in back in the early 1990s), these things are text parsers. You know, just like the ones we had in the old Infocom text adventures from the late 1970s/early 1980s -- and the Infocom text adventures already could do more with human language than Siri can do today. This whole "cloud" integration is just ridiculous - and nothing but a ploy to grab as much user data as possible.

    * There is no "cloud". It's just someone else's computer. (TM)
  23. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    Like beats (Apple Music), intrinsity (a series chips), Siri (Siri), PrimeSense (face id), emagic (garageband), next (os x), authentec (touch id), workflow (shortcuts), ... ?
  24. Emanuel Rodriguez, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018

    Emanuel Rodriguez macrumors regular

    Emanuel Rodriguez

    Oct 17, 2018
    This technology (based on the screenshot) has existed in a somewhat more limited form for ages in a company called Sighthound. I remember being able to do that 3 or 4 years ago.

    EDIT: Actually, looking at their website, it would seem that they've extended the tech over the years to do the exact same thing as what you see in the image here.

    Worth a look:
  25. notabadname macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2010
    Detroit Suburbs
    Yet another comment about Apple buying a company and not using it to improve and innovate . . . . .

    There have been improvements and changes across Apple’s entire line, from chip development, to massive improvements of Maps, and clear improvements to and integration of Siri. But these comments along with the “can’t beat em, buy em” comments are easy low-brow one-liners to toss out with nearly every thread.

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