Large tech companies are snatching up artificial intelligence startups left and right. Who's the biggest eater? Turns out, it's a very familiar name.

Google has acquired 11 AI startups over the last five years, leading the pack of corporations hungry for artificial intelligence, according to CB Insights.

There have been roughly 140 acquisitions of artificial intelligence startups since 2011, including 40 this past year alone, the venture capital research firm says. That compares with just five acquisitions in 2011. This graphic reveals the snowballing rate. Areas that are currently popular, when it comes to major acquisitions: Image and sound processing.

Why highlight the data now? Samsung's recent acquisition of startup Viv Labs, which is developing a Siri-like AI assistant. "Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple and Salesforce are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with Samsung emerging as a new entrant this month," CB Insights says.

Large companies appear eager to acquire companies with technology that enhances computer recognition of language and images. Examples of major acquisitions of startups in those categories this year, according to CB Insights:

  • Apple/Emotient (facial expression recognition)
  • NICE/Nexidia (audio and video search)
  • Intel/Itseez (computer vision)
  • Twitter/Magic Pony (visual processing)
  • Google/Moodstocks (machine vision)
  • Intel/Movidius (vision processing)
  • Google/Api.ai (natural language processing)
Published on: Oct 18, 2016