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Facebook Acquires Third AI Startup In UK For $40M

Facebook’s “acquire and conquer” strategy has landed it another startup to boost its AI game.

The company that is Facebook’s third AI acquisition in the U.K. is Deeptide Ltd., which is also known for its trading name, Atlas ML. It serves as the custodian of Papers With Code, the free and open resource with machine learning papers, code and evaluation tables, reported TechCrunch.

The news of this acquisition was almost covertly pulled off by the social media giant. If it weren’t for a Medium.com post by founder Robert Stojnic in December, the deal wouldn’t have attracted media attention.

“Today we are excited to announce we are joining Facebook AI to further accelerate our growth,” wrote Stojnic. “Facebook AI has been a strong advocate for reproducibility and open access, leading the way in publishing code and models alongside their research. There is a strong strategic alignment and we are looking forward to the coming year and what we can achieve together.”

Facebook’s pursuit of British AI talent has led them to acquire Bloomsbury AI back in 2018 to help them “strengthen Facebook’s efforts in natural language processing research.” The social network also recently obtained 75% control of “Visual Positioning Service” developer Scape Technologies for an estimated sum of $40 million.

With the Deeptide deal, however, there are no further details as of yet, but TechCrunch sources estimate that the purchase price could roughly be in line with what it paid for Scape Technologies.

Papers and Codes, as Stojnic pointed out in his blog post, “will remain neutral, open, and free source” and the services and how the community interacts with their website will not change.

“We’re committed to the independence of this platform and are confident that joining Facebook AI will enable us to grow this resource for the entire community, supporting all frameworks and research areas,” stated Stojnic.

Facebook also didn’t shy away from buying a company outside the U.S. as it also purchased vision-based AI solutions provider Grokstyle last year. Before moving to Facebook, Grokstyle’s technology was notably added by IKEA as a feature in its Place app that allows people to find similar products using pictures they take on their phone.

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