Facebook has hired the team behind UK startup Bloomsbury AI to help fight fake news

Photo: David Ramos/ Getty.
  • Facebook announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the team behind London-based start up Bloomsbury AI.
  • Rather than a full acquisition of the company, Facebook has taken on Bloomsbury AI’s team in what’s sometimes called an “acquihire.”
  • TechCrunch first reported on Monday that Facebook was interested in the company’s AI software as a way of combatting fake news on its platform.

Facebook has acquired the team behind Bloomsbury AI, a London-based start-up, the company announced on Tuesday.

Founded in 2015, Bloomsbury AI specialises in natural language processing technology, and has developed an AI called “Cape,” which can read documents and then answer questions about their contents.

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

The announcement follows a TechCrunch report on Monday that Facebook was in talks to acquire the AI company for up to $US30 million (£23 million). TechCrunch’s report also claimed that Facebook was interested in Bloomsbury AI’s software as a way of combatting fake news and various other content issues on its platform.

Business Insider understands that Facebook is only buying Bloomsbury AI’s talent and expertise in a so-called “acquihire”, not its product. It isn’t clear what will happen to Bloomsbury AI’s future operations, though acquihires often result in the closure of the acquired team’s company. Business Insider has contacted both companies for clarification.

You can read the full Facebook post here:

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