Microsoft acquires Canadian AI startup Maluuba to bolster its natural language processing abilities

Microsoft has acquired Canadian AI startup Maluuba for an undisclosed sum. Maluuba’s acquisition will bolster the company’s already strong capabilities in the fields of natural language processing and deep learning.

As Microsoft explains in its blog, “Maluuba’s vision is to advance toward a more general artificial intelligence by creating literate machines that can think, reason and communicate like humans — a vision exactly in line with ours.”

Microsoft has been hard at work building AI that can be deployed anywhere and by anyone. The company has already opened up its Cortana SDKs (software development kits) to the public and has released a number of tools that make the development of AI-based tools much easier.

Mulaaba’s language processing abilities and getting onboard Yoshua Bengio, one of the world’s foremost experts in deep learning, is, as Microsoft believes, a major step forward in the “democratisation of AI”.

In an example quoted by Microsoft, the company envisions a future where companies rely on AI assistants. If you were to, say, look for documents from the top tax-law experts, for example, AI will be able to sort through your database quickly and intelligently, giving you relevant results.

Microsoft believes that the vision and methodology that went into the creation of Maluuba are very much in-line with what the company is doing with its own AI division, making Maluuba a great fit for Microsoft.

Maluuba also had a lot to say on the matter, particularly on why even they believe that Microsoft is a great fit for the team. You can find the Maluuba team’s perspective on the matter here.

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