January 16, 2017

Microsoft acquires AI startup Maluuba

With the acquisition, Microsoft aims to upgrade its artificial intelligence capabilities

This month, Microsoft announced that it has agreed to acquire Maluuba, a Montreal-based company with deep learning research labs for natural language understanding. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Microsoft says that Maluuba’s expertise in deep learning and reinforcement learning for question-answering and decision-making systems will help them make AI accessible and valuable to consumers, businesses and developers. With this acquisition, Microsoft says that it has set a new milestone for speech and image recognition using deep learning techniques.

In a blog post, Microsoft said:

We’ll have more to share about our plans for Maluuba in the coming months.

In the meantime, I want to emphasize just how excited I am about the technology and talent Maluuba brings to Microsoft and the role they’ll play in helping us bring AI to every person and organization on the planet.

Maluuba’s vision is to advance toward a more general artificial intelligence by creating literate machines that can think, reason and communicate like humans, which Microsoft says is exactly in line with them. Maluuba’s team is addressing some of the fundamental problems in language understanding by modeling some of the innate capabilities of the human brain, from memory and common sense reasoning to curiosity and decision making.

Maluuba on their blog said:

Microsoft is an excellent match for our company.

Their ambitious vision of democratizing AI to empower every person and every organization on the planet fundamentally aligns with how we see our technology being used.

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