A Canadian startup named as Maluuba has been recently acquired by Microsoft. This company was founded by graduates of University of Waterloo, Kaheer Suleman, and Sam Pasupalak. This startup comprises the processing of natural languages, general artificial intelligence in the pursuit which means they will raise computers which will think like a human.

The Montreal-based, Waterloo originated company brought specific features by using deep learning and reinforcement learning to enhance the effectiveness and professional efficiency of computer-based systems. In return, these computers will be able to answer questions and make decisions. Maluuba has already mentioned in a blog post that its work will help with Microsoft’s broad vision of making more accessible and useful to the general public.

Their team has focused on the areas of machine reading comprehension, dialogue understanding, and general (human) intelligence capabilities such as memory, common-sense reasoning, and information seeking behavior. Their early research achievements in these domains accelerated our need to scale our team rapidly; it was apparent that Maluuba needed to bolster their work with significant resources to advance towards solving artificial general intelligence.

By joint work of Microsoft and Maluuba, imagine a future where, instead of frantically searching through your organization’s directory, documents or emails to find the top tax-law experts in your company, for example, you could communicate with an AI agent that would leverage Maluuba’s machine comprehension capabilities to immediately respond to your request. The agent would be able to answer your question in a company security-compliant manner by having a deeper understanding of the contents of your organization’s documents and emails, instead of simply retrieving a document by keyword matching, which happens today. This is just one of hundreds of scenarios we could imagine as Maluuba pushes the state-of-the-art technology of machine literacy.

Montreal’s expertise in AI is gaining global attention; Google recently opened a research office focused on AI there, and invested funds in local academic efforts focused on the area. Leading global AI researcher Yoshua Bengio and Maluuba advisor, who heads the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, is also joining Microsoft as an advisor, notes Microsoft EVP of AI Harry Shum in the blog post announcing Maluuba’s acquisition.

In the meantime, we need to emphasize just how excited we are about the technology and talent Maluuba brings to Microsoft and the role they’ll play in helping us bring AI to every person and organization on the planet.


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