Facebook is acquiring British AI startup
In an effort to combat fake news on the platform 💸
Posted on July 2, 2018 9:52 PM.
Facebook is no stranger to fake news. In fact, last month Facebook announced they would be shutting down trending topics, after widespread controversy over the spread of false news on the platform.
[Now], the social network behemoth is acquiring London-based Bloomsbury AI, a startup that has built natural language processing (NLP) technology, to help machines answer questions based on information gleaned from documents. According to sources, Facebook plans to deploy the company’s team and tech to work on combatting fake news and to tackle other content issues.
Facebook is rumored to be paying between $23 million and $30 million to acquire Bloomsbury AI, and includes a mixture of both cash and stock.
Given the price and the stage Bloomsbury AI were at, the acquisition also has more than a whiff of acqui-hire to it, although there is some IP in the deal. Bloomsbury AI’s CTO/Head of Research, Sebastian Riedel, was the biggest draw.
Riedel co-founded Factmata, a startup to help platforms combat fake news, and is considered to be a leading expert in NLP. While Bloomsbury's team and technology is solid, the only commercial product it provides is, ...
... an AI called "Cape," which can read text documents and answer questions about their contents.
Bloomsbury AI's investors include Fly.VC, Seedcamp, IQ Capital, UCL Technology Fund, London Co-investment Fund, and is an alumni of Entrepreneur First.
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