Giant technology firms, particularly those based in the US, have been acquiring artificial intelligence-based startups in a move to benefit from their groundbreaking AI technologies.
Recently, social media giant company Facebook is said to be purchasing Bloomsbury AI, a London-based natural language processing (NLP) startup.
This acquisition report further proves that London is a hotbed for artificial intelligence talent, which appears to lure leading technology companies in the United States.
According to the reports regarding the acquisition of Bloomsbury, Facebook is expected to pay between $23 and $30 million. The reports also say that the deal will involve the exchange of stock.
Various observers are keenly focusing on the whole exercise think that the largest draw is mostly Bloomsbury’s CTO Sebastian Riedel, who is not only a UCL professor but also a renowned natural language processing (NLP) expert. TechCrunch was first to report the deal before Telegraph confirmed the reports.
London-based Bloomsbury AI operates as a data analytics firm that automates customer advice and care.
In fact, the company prides itself on having proprietary algorithms that respond to questions after going through documents.
With such a revolutionary tool, Facebook will be in a better position to fight against fake news.
Facebook intends to leverage Bloomsbury AI as one of its solutions for curbing fake news among other similar content issues that have weighed down the popular social media platform. According to Sebastian Riedel’s profile on LinkedIn, he is one of the founders behind the establishment of a UK-based startup known as Factmata, which focuses on developing tools for battling fake news.
Bloomsbury AI has ten employees, which means that it has fewer workers than investors.
The company was established in 2015 by Guillaume Bouchard, who obtained his machine learning knowledge from the University College London (UCL).
The startup was among the European startup recruitment entity Entrepreneur First’s accelerator.
Since then, it has secured finances from the London Co-Investment Fund, Seedcamp and UCL Technology along with funds from William Tunstall-Pedoe, who assisted Amazon in the development of Alexa.
With such acquisition reports, what appears to take the attention of keen observers is the growing interest in UK artificial intelligence (AI) startups. This situation is owed to the increased acquisition of AI startups in the area.
According to recent research, since 2014 a new artificial intelligence startup is established every five days in the United Kingdom.
This situation may be the cause of the heightened interest in UK-based startups by leading companies.
The Facebook deal follows Google’s recent acquisition of DeepMind for £400 million, which is another university-spinoff that is currently regarded as one of the leaders in artificial intelligence research and development.
During the purchase, founders including Shane Legg, Mustafa Suleyman, and Demis Hassabis insisted that an ethics board was formed as part of the transaction.
Furthermore, the social media giant is said to be looking forward to increasing its AI presence in the United Kingdom and is expected to purchase more startups in the country.
Even after the purchase, most of Deepmind’s offices remain in the capital. Nevertheless, the deal has elicited various concerns that Deepmind allows Google to attain computer science talent right from British Universities.