Facebook boosts smart tech with Bloomsbury AI buy

People and Robots

Facebook has announced the acquisition of Bloomsbury AI to help it better understand how speech can be used to improve its users' experiences with the social network.

Bloomsbury AI works on technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand text in documents and serve up answers to questions based on the content of said documents.

Facebook has not said exactly how it will use Bloomsbury AI's talent and tech but it could be applied to Facebook's efforts to weed out hurtful or offensive content, much of which has to be processed by humans at the moment, especially as Bloomsbury AI's co-founder Sebastian Riedel also founded a company that can identify fake news stories.

"We're excited to announce that the team behind Bloomsbury AI has agreed to join Facebook in London," Facebook Research said in a statement on the social network.

"The Bloomsbury team has built a leading expertise in machine reading and understanding unstructured documents in natural language in order to answer any question. Their expertise will strengthen Facebook's efforts in natural language processing research, and help us further understand natural language and its applications."

Although it's still unclear how Facebook will use Bloomsbury AI's technology, it needs to first understand language and user intentions based upon the language they use.

Bloomsbury AI's team will join Facebook's London office, which is where one of its FAIR (the acronym for its research arm) HQ's is based.

"The team will help us grow our AI efforts in London, joining a roster of strong engineering talent," the announcement continued. "We look forward to welcoming them to Facebook and we can't wait to see what we build together."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.