Apple Is Massively Expanding Its AI Research Operation in Seattle

Apple Self Driving Car System Credit: Consumer Reports

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If there’s one area of technology that’s attracted a significant amount of interest in recent years, it’s definitely artificial intelligence.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has already admitted that the firm is working on the “the mother of all AI projects”.

Speaking to Bloomberg last summer, Cook provided a glimpse into the company’s much-anticipated autonomous car project.

At the time, he said: “We’re focusing on autonomous systems. It’s a core technology that we view as very important.” However, he stressed that it is “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on”.

Over the past few years, the tech giant has been conducting much of its AI research from a skyscraper based in Seattle. It set up an engineering office in the city after acquiring cloud computing start-up Union Bay Networks back in 2014.

The office, which is based at Two Union Square in the major city, has gone through a great deal of change. Apple has grown the operation on several occasions.

But now, according to a new report from GeekWire, the company is working on a major expansion of the office. Official permits suggest that Apple is looking to increase the footprint of its Seattle research center to 70,000 square feet.

Two Union Square Seattle Apple
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Currently, Apple occupies around five floors of the building, although these plans could see it take control of another floor. The report claims that it would be able to cater for around 350 to 375 additional workers.

Apple has also published advertisements for 19 new job openings, all of which cover fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and smart home technology.

Clearly, Tim Cook and his executives are looking to expand Apple’s AI capabilities. The news also comes as the firm recently scouted John Giannandrea from Google to lead its Siri and self-driving car programs

In an email obtained by The New York Times, Tim Cook wrote to his employees directly to inform them about the appointment of Giannandrea.

“Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear. John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal,” he said.

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