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What is Maluuba? Microsoft Grabs AI Tech Bigger Than Facebook, Google

Jan 24, 2017 05:10 AM EST

Microsoft has just announced this morning that it has finally acquired AI startup Maluuba, a Toronto-based company that wants to use deep learning for language processing. 

According to The Verge, deep learning is an approach in the field of artificial intelligence that is currently in popularity due to incredible achievements that were being made all over the field in over the past five years.

Microsoft recently wrote in a blog announcing the purchase that as they set new milestones for speech and image recognition through deep learning techniques, machine reading and writing will be only a few strikes away. 

Back in summer of 2016, Maluuba shared the results of an AI system that could read and comprehend text with apparently near-human capability. This should currently outperform systems that are being boasted by Google and Facebook.

Microsoft not only bought the company but also established closer ties with Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in the field who also served as an advisor to Maluuba. He will now be the advisor of Microsoft's AI division.

It appears this system could easily be integrated with Cortana, which is Microsoft's digital assistant, to help Microsoft consumers deal with everyday chores like e-mail. Maluuba appears to image a system that doesn't just know what e-mails you receive, but also determine how critical the information each message is. For Microsoft's new enterprise services, the possibilities are almost endless.

Microsoft said we can even have a future where, instead of searching directories, documents or e-mails to find certain information, one can just communicate with an AI agent that will leverage Maluuba's machine comprehension capabilities to respond to the request.

The said agent will then be able to answer the question in a company security-compliant manner by having a deeper understanding of the contents of the files. This is severely better than retrieving documents by keyword-matching.This appears to be just one of the hundreds of potential scenarios that could happen with Maluuba pushing the state-of-the-art possibility of machine literacy. 

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