Microsoft acquires California AI firm Bonsai

At the top of this month, Microsoft announced that it had acquired GitHub. Then at E3, it announced that it had purchased four gaming studios, and as if June wasn't a busy enough month for acquisitions, it later announced that it's adding online learning platform Flipgrid to its portfolio.

But Microsoft isn't done yet, as it announced today that it has acquired Bonsai, a California-based firm that specializes in machine learning, and was already funded by M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures). The company says that there will be more than 800 million autonomous operations by 2025, and it plans to make use of Bonsai to build the "brains" for these.

Bonsai is making a "deep reinforcement learning platform" that's created for robotics, energy, HVAC, manufacturing, and autonomous systems. In fact, it trained a robotic arm to grasp blocks and stack them on top of each other, by breaking down the steps into smaller routines. But the big news ist that it was performed 45 times faster than Google's DeepMind would have done it.

Microsoft also said that users from Siemens that had no AI training at all were able to train an AI to autocalibrate a Computer Numerical Control (CNC machine) using Bonsai's platform, and that was 30 times faster than what would be considered the standard way of doing it.

Microsoft will be integrating Bonsai's technology into its Azure Cloud with GPUs and Brainwave, along with models that are managed by Azure IoT.

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