Microsoft Buying AI System Maluuba Is A Game Changer

Jan 18, 2017 12:05 PM EST | Carl Anthony Teves

Microsoft today still continues to create artificial intelligence into different products. First is the personal AI assistant Cortana to Microsoft Translator to the Azure cloud platform. The company already owns several AI research products but it's still not enough. Microsoft just bought a Canadian AI startup that is programmed to make machines think and communicate the way people do with intentions of creating a software that can write, read and converse using only natural language.

The name of the AI system that Microsoft acquired is Maluuba. The AI system is a Toronto-based company that has the ability to provide text-based reading and comprehension skills that are surprisingly as good as what humans can do. The company competes with Facebook and Google as they are working on the same system.

Harry Shum, Microsoft artificial intelligence and research group executive vice president, said, "I'm incredibly excited about the scenarios that this acquisition could make possible in conversational AI." Microsoft did not disclose the financial details of the transaction but explained why they believe that Maluuba is the company that can take its AI game further.

Maluuba's vision to bring a more general artificial intelligence by developing literate machines that are capable of thinking, reason and communicate like humans. Maluuba's excellent team is addressing a few fundamental problems in language understanding by modeling some unlearned capabilities of the brain, when it comes to memory and common sense reasoning to curiosity and decision making.

Furthermore, Microsoft wants people to know how Maluubas's technology can make people more productive, like asking an AI assistant based on Maluuba's machine that is capable of finding the top tax-law expert in a specific organization. The AI assistant can easily scan through the organization's documents and emails and distinguish which person has the most relevant knowledge.

Microsoft acquiring Maluuba is a big game changer for the industry. This also could make Microsoft's different productivity tools just as good as the human brain and perhaps become better at predicting human needs.


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