Apple acquires AI voice startup that helps build Alexa and Google Assistant apps

Apple's acquisition of Pullstring may help Siri better compete with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

Apple is pulling up its socks in the AI race and as part of its latest efforts, the iPhone maker has acquired a San Francisco-based AI startup called Pullstring.

Apple acquires AI voice startup that helps build Alexa and Google Assistant apps

Apple's logo is seen outside a flagship store. Image: Reuters

The startup helps companies design and publish voice-based apps which leverage existing voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant. According to Axios, Pullstring may help Apple's Siri better compete with Alexa.

Pullstring was founded in 2011 by a group of ex Pixar executives and was used originally to power interactive voice apps for toys, including Hello Barbie in 2015.

The startup later broadened its service with the introduction of IoT-enabled gadgets such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. The value of the deal between Apple and Pullstring is unknown.

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