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Microsoft Acquires San Francisco-Based Startup Lobe To Boost AI Development

Satya Nadella led Microsoft has been clear about its AI ambitions from the start and this is yet another proof of the tech giant’s commitment to strengthening its AI capabilities. In yet another high profile acquisition, the Redmond giant snapped up San Francisco-based AI startup Lobe, that is lowering the entry to DL by enabling developers build models without any code. Lobe, currently available in Beta is an easy-to-use visual tool that allows developers to build custom deep learning models, quickly train them, and export it to app without writing any code. Start by dragging in a folder of training examples from your desktop. Lobe automatically builds you a custom deep learning model and begins training.

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According to news reports, no financial details have been revealed yet. Microsoft blog announcement indicated that Lobe acquisition will bring more AI development capability. This year, Microsoft acquired Semantic Machines in May brought in a revolutionary new approach to conversational AI,  and the acquisition of Bonsai in July will help reduce the barriers to AI development through the Bonsai team’s unique work combining machine teaching, reinforcement learning and simulation. “These are just two recent examples of investments we have made to help us accelerate the current state of AI development,” Kevin Scott – Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft noted shared in the post.

Lobe ties in very well with Microsoft’s recent acquisitions which were done to boost AI development and also lower the entry barrier. Scott added how we are only at the beginning of the DL revolution since 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,” he shared in the post.

Founded in founded in 2015 by Mike Matas, Adam Menges, and Markus Beissinger in order to make deep learning accessible to everyone, Lobe will continue to work as a standalone service, supporting open source standards and multiple platforms. Microsoft acquisition will allow the startup to access world-class AI research, global infrastructure, and decades of experience building developer tools, Lobe website indicated.

 

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Richa Bhatia
Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.

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