Apple has reportedly bought artificial intelligence start-up Turi for $200m (£153m).

The Seattle-based firm makes AI and machine learning toolkits for other applications and is aimed at developers.

The report by Geekwire cited unnamed sources, but Apple refused to confirm the deal.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Apple stated.

The tech giant has opened up its Siri ‘intelligent personal assistant’ to third-party developers, indicating that it has plans to expand the service.

Turi could feed into that, be used to make better recommendations to customers in the App Store and assist in fraud detection.

According to its website, Turi allows "developers and data people" to create real-time services and applications that use machine learning technology.

"Turi toolkits simplify the development of machine learning models.

“Each incorporates automatic feature engineering, model selection and machine learning visualisations specific to the application.

“There is no faster way to build performant models.”

Apple bought AI startups Perceptio and VocalIQ last year and has been open about its efforts to enhance the customer experience through the technology.

However it is widely thought to be behind Google and Microsoft in the race to adopt AI, with the former in particular making waves following the 2014 acquisition of British start-up DeepMind.

Apple recently revealed it is investing heavily in augmented reality after announcing a second consecutive quarter of falling iPhone sales.