Microsoft acquires Waterloo-based AI start-up

Microsoft Corp has acquired Maluuba, a Univ of Waterloo spin-off that utilizes deep learning and artificial intelligence to create literate machines that can think, reason and communicate like humans. The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, caps six years of development since Maluuba was established in 2010 by two U of W students — Sam Pasupalak and Kaheer Suleman — and incubated at the Communitech Hub as part of the U of W’s Velocity Program. As part of the agreement, Maluuba and the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group will be advised by Dr Yoshua Bengio, a Univ of Montreal professor regarded as one of the godfathers of machine learning. Bengio recently announced the launch of a start-up incubator called Element AI, which received seed funding from Microsoft Ventures, the tech titan’s venture capital arm (R$, December 21/16).