Microsoft acquires deep learning startup Maluuba

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After acquiring SwiftKey, Microsoft has acquired Montreal-based Maluuba, a research-oriented startup focused on deep learning.


Though the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but as part of the deal, renowned AI expert Yoshua Bengio, the head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms and an adviser to Maluuba, will now advise Microsoft.

In a blog post, Microsoft wrote, "Maluuba’s expertise in deep learning and reinforcement learning for question-answering and decision-making systems will help us advance our strategy to democratise AI and to make it accessible and valuable to everyone — consumers, businesses and developers."

Founded in 2011 by students at the University of Waterloo, Maluuba "creates programs that use natural-language processing, which helps computers understand dialogue and develop reasoning capabilities in areas of research known as deep learning and reinforcement learning."

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 democratising AI to empower every person and every organisation on the planet fundamentally aligns with how we see our technology being used. Microsoft provides us with the opportunity to deliver our work to the billions of consumer and enterprise users that can benefit from the advent of truly intelligent machines.”

Apart from SwiftKey, Microsoft has acquired Genee, VoloMetrix, FieldOne, Equivio, and Aorato, in last three years, all of which work on some form of AI. Not only Microsoft but other tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook are also bidding on AI startups to expand their research and development in the field.

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