July 5, 2018

Facebook acquires AI firm Bloomsbury to excel in natural language processing

The acquisition is a step towards achieving the goal of automating content moderation on the platform by understanding natural language and its applications.

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Social media giant Facebook have acquired London-based AI (Artificial Intelligence) firm Bloomsbury in an effort to improve its capabilities in tackling the rising instances of disinformation, fake news, and terrorism-related content. With this acquisition, Facebook will strengthen its efforts pertinent to natural language processing research by leveraging Bloomsbury’s AI prowess.

Facebook claims that natural speech can be difficult for AI and machine learning systems to understand. They believe that in spite of large databases and search functions, reliable and effective responses can be problematic.

By partnering with Bloomsbury, Facebook believes integration with the former’s AI-based system Cape, carefully reading content and answering questions related to it content will be simpler. They say that Bloomsbury’s AI prowess is quite adept at understanding images, videos, and text and that in time it can effectively moderate the social network firm’s entire platform, including Facebook, Instagram, and its other properties.

Speaking about this acquisition, a spokesperson for Facebook, confirmed:

The Bloomsbury team has built a leading expertise in machine reading and understanding unstructured documents in natural language in order to answer any question. We look forward to welcoming them to Facebook and we can’t wait to see what we build together.

Financials of the deal were not disclosed by industry experts opine that the acquisition might have closed at approx. USD 25-30 million.

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