Microsoft has acquired Maluuba, an AI startup founded by Odia boy Sam Pasupalak. The Canadian startup focused on making machines able to think the way people do.
Sam Pasupalak is the son of Prof. Surendranath Pasupalak, Vice-Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT). Sam has completed his early education in Bhubaneswar and graduation from University of Waterloo, Canada.
Bringing on board Maluuba co-founders Kaheer Suleman and Sam Pasupalak, along with their team from the startup, was intended to accelerate Microsoft’s “ability to develop software so computers can read, write and converse naturally,” the company said.
The Montreal-based company focuses on using deep learning and reinforcement learning to increase the proficiency and effectiveness of computer-based systems that can answer questions and make decisions, and Microsoft notes in a blog post that its work will help with Microsoft’s broad goal of making AI more accessible and useful to the general public.
Maluuba’s focus has been on improving computer systems’ ability to comprehend what they’re reading, to understand natural dialog between individuals and to get better at tasks like memory, common-sense reasoning and finding information when they have a gap in their own knowledge.
Even at its Disrupt launch, early in Maluuba’s life cycle, the company impressed by demonstrating a virtual assistant product that could manage a wide range of domains. Cross-domain expertise is typically difficult for intelligent software – most successful efforts in AI to date have focused on building good results with a narrow domain focus, but Maluuba’s more general focus is the golden carrot in terms of product breakthroughs for a lot of the big players in tech.