Microsoft Corp. Buys Waterloo-Based AI Start-Up Maluuba

Technology - Pavan Pandey - Jan 16,2017

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microsoft corp buys waterloo based ai start up maluuba

Microsoft Corp. is purchasing into Canada’s AI research community with an agreement to buy Maluuba, a deep learning and Artificial Intelligence Technology startup.

The latest acquisition will help Microsoft Corp. develop artificial intelligence with improved communication skills and language understanding.

In the statement declaring the acquisition, the co-founders of Maluuba, Sam Pasupalak and Kaheer Suleman, said the rationale for selling was to bolster resources.
Initial research achievements [memory, common-sense reasoning, in machine-reading comprehension] enhanced the company’s need to scale its team quickly; it was apparent that company wanted to boost its work with important resources to advance towards resolving artificial general intelligence.

The Canadian startup, Maluuba, was launched in 2010 at the University of Waterloo by students. Maluuba builds programs that use natural-language processing which aids computers understand the conversation and develop reasoning skills in areas of research acknowledged as deep learning and reinforcement learning. 

However, Microsoft Corp. and Maluuba declined to reveal the actual purchase price.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, the company didn’t rule out possible discharges among the 50 existing workforces. He further added that the representatives from Microsoft met with Maluuba staffs earlier today in both Waterloo and Montreal. The company is presently working on integration plans and expect most, if not all, workforces will join in.

According to Maluuba’s blog, the company has headlined its merger as “Maluuba + Microsoft: Towards Artificial General Intelligence” and also expressed it as an incredible milestone to their journey so far.

In September 2016, Microsoft made an artificial-intelligence (AI) division with 5,000 workforces, putting Mr. Harry Shum as head of the division. The AI division includes both researchers and product managers, a collaboration Microsoft hopes will boost the rollout of artificial-intelligence offerings.