Facebook is reportedly close to buying a British AI startup to help it shut down fake news

FacebookFacebook has recently made a show of its fight against fake news.
  • Facebook is close to acquiring London-based start-up Bloomsbury AI to help it combat fake news, TechCrunch reports.
  • Bloomsbury AI develops natural language processing (NLP) technology, and has created an AI called “Cape” which can read documents and then answer questions about their contents.
  • Facebook is reportedly paying between $US23 million and $US30 million to acquire the company.

Facebook is set to acquire London-based start-up Bloomsbury AI for up to $US30 million (£23 million), according to a TechCrunch report.

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

The company’s stated goal is for their AI to “[eventually] be able to answer any question that requires reading better than a human.”

Citing anonymous sources, TechCrunch claims that Facebook plans to use Bloomsbury AI’s team and tech to work on combatting fake news, as well as other content issues. It also said Facebook is paying between $US23 million and $US30 million to acquire the company, and that a mixture of cash and stock will change hands.

Bloomsbury’s investors include the VC firm Fly Ventures, Seedcamp, IQ Capital, UCL Technology Fund, and the UK taxpayer-backed London Co-Investment fund. It was also selected by Entrepreneur First, a London-based company builder which invests in tech start-ups.

One of the firm’s angel investors in William Tunstall-Pedoe, an expert in AI who helped develop Amazon’s Alexa.

Facebook declined to comment. Business Insider has contacted Bloomsbury AI for comment.

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