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Apple is bracing its speed in the AI race after Google and Amazon, which is clear by its latest move of acquiring Pullstring, a San Francisco-based AI startup, Axios reports. Founded in 2011 by a group of ex Pixar executives, Pullstring specializes in helping companies build conversational voice apps such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

Pullstring was originally used to power voice apps for toys, including Hello Barbie in 2015. According to a report by Axios, Pullstring might help Apple’s Siri in order to better compete with Alexa. It further broadened its service with IoT-enabled gadgets such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. The startup has raised around $44 million in venture capital, from firms like Greylock, CRV, True Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and First Round Capital.

According to PitchBook, its most recent post-money valuation was just north of $160 million. The deal between Apple and Pullstring is said to be around $30 – $40 million, though it is still not clear how will Apple benefit out of the deal (monetarily).

As Apple is still behind both Google and Amazon in terms of adoption of voice apps and being open to developers, this latest move might help the company to overcome this gap.

Apple users are hoping that this news turns to be good for them. But only time will tell if it really turns out to be one.

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