Last year, Microsoft pushed forward with artificial intelligence research by acquiring an AI-powered scheduling company, Genee, in August and forming the Microsoft AI and Research Group in September. It continues this trend today by purchasing Maluuba, a deep learning startup that focuses on natural language processing.
In a Microsoft blog post, Harry Shum, Executive Vice President of Microsoft's AI and Research Group said, “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.”
The Montreal-based company primarily studies and develops reasoning, decision-making, and communication in machines. Per a company post, Maluuba hopes to create literate machines "that model the intelligence and decision-making capabilities of the human brain."
The post continues, "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."
Shum additionally stated that deep learning expert and head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, Yoshua Bengio, will advise Microsoft during the transition. The Maluuba release notes that Bengio has been an "invaluable" part of its research process.
The financial details of the acquisition have not yet been released.