Partnerships / Acquisitions

Baidu Buys Human Machine Interaction Tech Company KITT.AI For Undisclosed Sum

KITT.AI, the company that makes human machine interaction easy with natural language understanding technologies, has been sold to Baidu, the leading internet search company in China.

In a blog post, KITT.AI said that over the past two years it has developed three products: Snowboy, NLU and chatbot engine ChatFlow. As of July, it has powered more than 12,000 developers on the Snowboy platform, who in turn created the biggest hotword library in the world with 9,000 unique hotwords in 15 major languages and has turned ChatFlow into a enterprise level software and has been looking at ways to monetize its chatbot platform.

Now that its products are in smartphone apps, speakers, appliances, web chats, cars, homes and conference rooms, among other places, it was looking to expand. And that is where its acquisition by Baidu comes in. Under Baidu, the company said it will continue its mission of making complex things simpler, thanks to natural language understanding technologies.

“How does this affect existing and future developers of KITT.AI? Better products, better services and a peace of mind that KITT.AI will continue to operate with its existing products in the years to come. Yes, literally nothing changes in our existing products and brands. We’ll be continuing to support developers with [the] best of our efforts as we have always been,” the company wrote in the blog post. “We look forward to hearing the exciting products you have built with KITT.AI, now a Baidu company.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition of a machine learning company meshes with the internet company’s push into AI and other advanced technologies. Earlier Wednesday, it announced news that fifty companies have joined the Apollo initiative, which is aimed at bringing AI-powered, self-driving cars to city streets as early as 2018.



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