Apple Purchases Machine Learning Startup Laserlike

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Apple last year acquired Laserlike, a machine learning startup located in Silicon Valley, reports The Information. Apple's purchase of the four-year-old company was confirmed by an Apple spokesperson with a standard acquisition statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Laserlike's website says that its core mission is to deliver "high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web to you."


The company built a search app that used discovery and personalization machine learning techniques to build a Laserlike app described as an "interest search engine" that provided news, web, video, and local content relevant to each user. The Laserlike app is no longer available following the acquisition, but the company's website continues to cover what it was focused on:
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. For instance, if you care about knowing when the next SpaceX livestream launch is because you like to watch it with your kids, or if the car you bought two years ago has had a recall, or if a company you're interested in announces it's opening a new office where you live, or if there's a music festival coming to your town, you don't know when to look for these things, and there's no product that informs you automatically.

This is one of the things we want to fix on the Internet. Laserlike's core mission is to deliver high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web. We are passionate about helping people follow their interests and engage with new perspectives.
The Information suggests that Apple will use the Laserlike acquisition to strengthen its artificial intelligence efforts, including Siri. The Laserlike team has joined the Apple AI group led by new Apple AI chief John Giannandrea, who came to Apple from Google last year.

Giannandrea has been tasked with improving Apple's machine learning initiatives and bolstering Siri, the company's voice assistant. Laserlike's technology could potentially allow Siri to learn more about Apple users to provide more tailored, personalized content.

Article Link: Apple Purchases Machine Learning Startup Laserlike
 
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StellarVixen

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2018
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Please, Apple, I hope this doesn't mean that you will start collecting more data from us than necessary. These things need a lot of data to effectively deliver what they promise.
 
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Marcus PM

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2011
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This sounds like a great idea, Siri can use all the help she can get. I typically just receive a web search suggestion. Although a truly helpful assistant would need to collect much more personal information about me. That would seem to fly in the face of Apples privacy standards.
 

Tozovac

macrumors 68000
Jun 12, 2014
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Laserlike's website says that its core mission is to deliver "high quality information...."

I hope Apple learns to stop delivering information via low-contrast text on blinding white backgrounds with a virtual minimum of context-defining borders/zones/buttons but a maximum of space-wasting screen arrangements.
 
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lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
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5,203
Toronto, Canada
Cool. I didn't know Mr. Red Hat wrote Linux.

Also:

  • On November 15, 1999, Red Hat acquired Cygnus Solutions.
  • Later Red Hat acquired WireSpeed, C2Net and Hell's Kitchen Systems.
  • Red Hat acquired Planning Technologies, Inc in 2001 and AOL's iPlanet directory and certificate-server software in 2004.
  • Red Hat acquired open-source middleware provider JBoss on June 5, 2006, and JBoss became a division of Red Hat.
  • In 2007 Red Hat acquired MetaMatrix and made an agreement with Exadel to distribute its software.
  • On March 15, 2007, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and in June acquired Mobicents. On March 13, 2008, Red Hat acquired Amentra, a provider of systems integration services for service-oriented architecture, business process management, systems development and enterprise data services.
  • On October 16, 2015, Red Hat announced its acquisition of IT automation startup Ansible, rumored for an estimated $100 million USD.
  • In May 2018, Red Hat acquired CoreOS.
and

On October 28, 2018, IBM announced its intent to acquire Red Hat for US$34 billion, in one of its largest-ever acquisitions. The company will operate out of IBM's Hybrid Cloud division.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
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[Laserlike's website says that its core mission is to deliver "high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web to you."]

Hmm, that description is so generic it could have come out of a buzzword generator.
Maybe a buzzword generator was why Apple bought Laserlike?
 
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cb3

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2017
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"Siri, I'ld like to find a tutor in my area."

Answer: Let me get this straight. You would like to find tofu in your hair-net?
 
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Blackwell

macrumors member
May 10, 2012
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OMG, a hex riddle? Is this how we are gonna communicate? Fine.

53 74 69 63 6b 20 74 6f 20 74 68 65 20 74 6f 70 69 63 2c 20 70 6c 65 61 73 65 2e
OMG, a hex riddle? Is this how we are gonna communicate? Fine.

53 74 69 63 6b 20 74 6f 20 74 68 65 20 74 6f 70 69 63 2c 20 70 6c 65 61 73 65 2e
Sometimes I get bored and drift around. Great posts btw
 

ipponrg

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Oct 15, 2008
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I wonder if this could help out with improving Siri's knowledge of general topics, rather than defaulting to suggesting a web search.
Considering Siri was a purchase in itself, this sounds like a purchase to fix/update/improve a prior purchase. I look forward to more AI/ML purchases to the Siri stack to indirectly let us know how botched the original purchase was
 
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