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Microsoft Has Bought Small Start-up Lobe for This Reason

Tech giant Microsoft has made a purchase this month in the A.I. arena.

The company has acquired Lobe, a small start up that allows you to build machine learning models with the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Microsoft is eventually planning to use Lobe to build upon its own efforts to make building AI models easier, but for now, the company will operate as before.

The small San Francisco, which focuses on making it easy to train and deploy artificial intelligence models, only launched into beta earlier this year.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lobe’s system can make predictions based on data it’s trained on from cameras, microphones and other data input systems; it can also generate new data.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the acquisition of Lobe. Based in San Francisco, Lobe is working to make deep learning simple, understandable and accessible to everyone. Lobe’s simple visual interface empowers anyone to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code,” said Microsoft chief technology officer Kevin Scott in a blog post.

He added, “We look forward to continuing the great work by Lobe in putting AI development into the hands of non-engineers and non-experts.”

“In many ways though, we’re only just beginning to tap into the full potential AI can provide,” remarked Scott.

“This in large part is because AI development and building deep learning models are slow and complex processes even for experienced data scientists and developers. To date, many people have been at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing AI, and we’re committed to changing that.”

“As part of Microsoft, Lobe will be able to leverage world-class AI research, global infrastructure, and decades of experience building developer tools,” the Lobe team tweeted.

“We plan to continue developing Lobe as a standalone service, supporting open source standards and multiple platforms.”

Microsoft also acquired Bonsai earlier this year. Bonsai is a small artificial intelligence start-up. Terms of that deal were also not disclosed.

Founded in 2014, Bonsai has raised $13.6 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase. Its CEO Mark Hammond has also worked for Microsoft in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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