company Maluuba, for an undisclosed amount. The latter is a “deep learning research lab” for natural language understanding. 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 Microsoft’s. “I’ve been in the AI research and development field for more than 20 years now, and I’m incredibly excited about the scenarios that this acquisition could make possible in conversational AI,” said Harry Shum – Executive Vice President, Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, in a blog post. Sam Pasupalak, Co-founder and CEO, Maluuba, added, “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 addition, Microsoft’s immense technical resources including back-end infrastructure (i.e. Microsoft’s Azure and GPU infrastructure) and engineering talent will help us accelerate our pace in conducting research and bringing solutions to market. In short, our new partnership enables us to advance more quickly toward our vision of creating literate machines.” Microsoft believes that Maluuba’s expertise in deep learning and reinforcement learning for question-answering and decision-making systems will help the company advance its strategy to democratize AI and to make it accessible and valuable to everyone — consumers, businesses and developers.
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