Microsoft acquires deep learning startup Maluuba

maluuba microsoft

Microsoft has made its first acquisition of 2017. The company has scooped up deep learning startup Maluuba that focuses on natural language processing, machine reading comprehension, dialogue understanding, and general (human) intelligence capabilities such as memory, common-sense reasoning, and information seeking behavior.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a result of the acquisition, Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in the field of deep learning who served as an advisor to Maluuba, will now act as an advisor to Microsoft’s AI division. Microsoft said it will share company’s plans with Maluuba in coming months.

Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft’s recently formed artificial intelligence and research group, wrote in a blog post,

Imagine a future where, instead of frantically searching through your organization’s directory, documents or emails to find the top tax-law experts in your company, for example, you could communicate with an AI agent that would leverage Maluuba’s machine comprehension capabilities to immediately respond to your request. The agent would be able to answer your question in a company security-compliant manner by having a deeper understanding of the contents of your organization’s documents and emails, instead of simply retrieving a document by keyword matching, which happens today.

Maluuba co-founders Sam Pasupalak and Kaheer Suleman wrote in a blog post,

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. Microsoft provides us the opportunity to deliver our work to the billions of consumer and enterprise users that can benefit from the advent of truly intelligent machines. In short, our new partnership enables us to advance more quickly toward our vision of creating literate machines.

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Author: Sneha Bokil

Sneha Bokil is a tech enthusiast and is currently using OnePlus 3T but she still treasures her Nokia N70 (M). You can follow her on Twitter @snehabokil and on Google+