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Microsoft buys UK artificial intelligence firm SwiftKey

  • UK-based artificial
    intelligence firm SwiftKey has been acquired by Microsoft, the latter confirmed
    on Wednesday.

  • The Financial Times reports the deal to be worth $250 million.

  • SwiftKey is known for its
    • UK-based artificial
      intelligence firm SwiftKey has been acquired by Microsoft, the latter confirmed
      on Wednesday.

    • The Financial Times reports the deal to be worth $250 million.

    • SwiftKey is known for its
      predictive keyboard, which can be found installed on millions of smartphone
      devices.

    • The company said it was a
      “milestone” in its history.

    • “Our mission is to
      enhance interaction between people and technology. We think these are a perfect
      match, and we believe joining Microsoft is the right next stage in our
      journey,” said SwiftKey’s founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock in a blog
      post.

    • The company, started by
      the Cambridge University graduates in 2008, is the latest UK artificial intelligence
      (AI) firm to be bought up by a US tech giant,
      BBC reported.

    • DeepMind – which began
      within the University of Oxford – was bought by Google in 2014. Another firm,
      VocalIQ, was bought recently by Apple, the report said.

    • As well as the popular
      smartphone app, SwiftKey is known for being behind the computer software on
      Professor Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair.

    • The deal furthers
      Microsoft’s new mobile strategy, spearheaded by Chief Executive Satya Nadella.

    • Instead of focusing on
      hardware – where the company has a tiny share of the market with its Windows
      Phone range – the firm is now looking to build up a range of productivity
      software to be used on any kind of device,
      BBC
      added.
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