Apple expands in Microsoft's backyard

Michel Porro | Getty images

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

Apple is growing its team in Seattle by creating a new hub for artificial intelligence research.

Apple's expansion will also bolster a relationship with researchers at the University of Washington, which on Thursday announced a $1 million endowment named after Carlos Guestrin, a member of the machine learning team at Apple.

In a statement, Guestrin noted the "amazing talent" that comes out of the university — who have plenty of options, with Amazon and Microsoft headquartered nearby. Luring top artificial intelligence researchers to big companies has become so competitive that some universities are struggling to keep staff, The Economist reported last year.

"The bar is high, but we're going to be hiring as quickly as we can find people that meet our high bar, which is exciting," Guestrin told GeekWire, which first reported on the expansion.

While Apple's artificial intelligence research takes place across the world, Washington state has seen the fastest growth outside of California for Apple's staff over the past two years, the company told GeekWire.

And Washington isn't the only place Apple is growing. It recently unveiled a new 175-acre campus in California, and an enormous 500,000-square-foot London office.

CNBC

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks