Over the weekend, it announced that it was buying the startup Maluuba which will help Vole develop products based on natural language deep learning, especially question answering and decision making.
Harry Shum, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, wrote in his bog that Maluuba’s expertise in deep learning and reinforcement learning for question-answering and decision-making systems will help it advance our strategy to democratize AI and to make it accessible and valuable to everyone — consumers, businesses and developers.
Vole did not disclose the terms and conditions of the acquisition, or the price. As part of the acquisition, Microsoft will also bring Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms head Yoshua Bengio on board as an advisor. Bengio was previously an advisor to Maluuba.
Maluuba was founded in 2011, has raised $11 million in equity funding. The company focuses on improving computer systems’ reading comprehension, memory and common sense reasoning abilities.
In September, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft also formed the Artificial Intelligence and Research organisation, which the company said would double down on its AI product efforts through research.
Virtual smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have been gaining traction over the past year and will continue to do so. But the key for its partners is that Microsoft can also pave the way for other high-end artificial intelligence applications, including in the medical field.