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September 23, 2016updated 26 Sep 2016 1:48pm

Apple boosts machine learning capabilities with another acquisition

Company appears particularly interested in ability to analyse complex streaming data.

By James Nunns

Apple is boosting its machine learning capabilities with the acquisition of Tuplejump.

The India/US-based start-up has typically operated with open source projects such as Apache Spark, Apache Cassandra, and the Apache Kafka distributed high-throughput publish-subscribe messaging system, but it is the FiloDB project which is said to be what interested Apple the most.

The company describes itself as having the goal of simplifying data management technologies in order to make them simple to use.

Apple has not confirmed the acquisition but told TechCrunch: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

The FiloDB open source project is designed to build and apply machine learning concepts and analytics to large amounts of complex streaming data. The GitHub page for the project says: “High-performance distributed analytical database + Spark SQL queries + built for streaming.”

Tuplejump's FiloDB project on GitHub.

Tuplejump’s FiloDB project on GitHub.

Co-founder Rohit Rai and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu both stopped working on the start-up in April and joined Apple a month later, while Deepak Alur joined Anaplan at the same time, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

This acquisition is not the first Apple has made around the area of machine learning. The company acquired deep learning company Perceptio, which uses artificial intelligence to classify smartphone photos, in late 2015 and Turi, a machine learning platform for developers and data scientists, in August 2016.

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The latest acquisition perhaps plays towards Apple’s goal of adding greater search capabilities across its platforms.

Apple may have acquired Tuplejimp but it would appear that the FiloDB project still lives on as an open source project. On GitHub the latest ‘commit’ was made a month ago, and while it no longer sits under Tuplejump’s account (it has its own repository), it would appear that the project is still alive and kicking in the open source domain.

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