Microsoft acquires Berkeley-based AI startup Bonsai to fuel AI efforts

Microsoft today has announced that it is acquiring AI startup Bonsai with an aim to fuel its AI efforts. Bonsai has developed a novel approach using machine teaching that abstracts the low-level mechanics of machine learning, so that subject matter experts, regardless of AI aptitude, can specify and train autonomous systems to accomplish tasks and the actual training takes place inside a simulated environment.

Microsoft Bonsai

Bonsai says that going forward, it sees a massive opportunity to empower enterprises & developers globally with the tools and technology needed to build and operate the BRAINs that power these intelligent autonomous systems. This acquisition will also accelerate the efforts furthermore. It will combine Bonsai’s unique deep reinforcement learning and machine teaching platform with Microsoft’s Azure Platform and tools, extensive deep learning research, and recent AirSim simulation innovations.

Microsoft says that the Bonsai has achieved some remarkable breakthroughs with their approach that will have a profound impact on AI development. It also reminded that Bonsai has also established a new reinforcement learning benchmark for programming industrial control systems.

Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President, Business AI, Microsoft said:

We’re really confident this unique marriage of research, novel approach and technology will have a tremendous effect toward removing barriers and accelerating the current state of AI development. We look forward to having Bonsai and their team join us to help realize this collective vision.