Facebook Acquires Bloomsbury AI

By Noah Long ● Updated August 11, 2018

Facebook has acquired Bloomsbury AI, a London-based artificial intelligence company that has built technology, which can understand human speech through natural language processing. Bloomsbury AI’s technology will be used by Facebook to fight fake news as it starts to spread on the social network.

“We’re excited to announce that the team behind Bloomsbury AI has agreed to join Facebook in London. The Bloomsbury team has built a leading expertise in machine reading and understanding unstructured documents in natural language in order to answer any question. Their expertise will strengthen Facebook’s efforts in natural language processing research, and help us further understand natural language and its applications,” said the Facebook Academics team in a post. “The team will help us grow our AI efforts in London, joining a roster of strong engineering talent. We look forward to welcoming them to Facebook and we can’t wait to see what we build together.”

This would complement the artificial technology Facebook already uses for fighting bots and fake news along with manual controls it has in place. Facebook heavily relies on human moderators to manually check posts for hate speech, fake news, and for determining whether the content is in violation of company policies.

By improving its algorithms to combat fake news, Facebook would be scrutinized less for influencing elections and facilitating the spreading of propaganda. These are reasons why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called in to answer thousands of questions during a congressional hearing back in April. And addressing those problems is becoming especially important as Facebook continues to be the dominant platform for social media as there are billions of people who use the main Facebook service, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger every day.