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Article Key Takeaways

  • Apple has acquired a Canadian AI startup called DarwinAI.
  • DarwinAI specializes in vision-based technology for observing manufacturing components to enhance efficiency.
  • Although the acquisition hasn’t been officially announced, several members of DarwinAI’s team have joined Apple’s machine learning teams.
  • DarwinAI had received over $15 million in funding from various investors.
  • Techniques employed by DarwinAI include making AI models smaller and faster, which aligns with Apple’s interest in on-device generative AI features.
  • Apple has been behind competitors like OpenAI and Google in releasing AI-powered features but plans to introduce them later this year, as per Tim Cook.
  • Apple has been investing in generative AI efforts, reflected in its job listings exploring AI integration in multiple areas including Siri and developer tools.

Apple recently acquired the Canadian-based AI startup DarwinAI, known for its expertise in vision-based technology that enhances manufacturing efficiency, as reported by Bloomberg.

It has been observed that some members of DarwinAI’s team joined Apple’s machine learning teams in January, although there has been no official announcement from either company regarding a deal.

DarwinAI’s Background

DarwinAI has raised over $15 million in funding from investors including BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund, Honeywell Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Inovia Capital. BDC Capital has announced an exit from DarwinAI on its website, and Obvious Ventures has updated its portfolio to reflect the startup’s acquisition.

BDC Capital, Obvious Venture, and Apple did not provide comments in response to requests for the story.

DarwinAI’s Capabilities

According to Bloomberg’s report, DarwinAI employs various methods to enhance manufacturing efficiency and optimize AI models for increased speed and reduced size. These advancements may be beneficial for potential on-device generative AI features that Apple is considering integrating into iOS 18.

Apple’s AI Ambitions

Apple has been slower than its competitors, such as OpenAI, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, in rolling out generative AI-powered features. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in February that the company intends to introduce these features “later this year.”

Cook stated during a quarterly earnings call with analysts that they are dedicating significant time and effort to their work in that space, with plans to share details later in the year.


The acquisition of DarwinAI is seen as a strategic move for Apple in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence. By utilizing DarwinAI’s expertise in vision-based technology and model optimization, Apple may improve its manufacturing processes and enhance its AI capabilities on its devices.

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