Last week, Google acquired API.ai, a natural language and voice-command startup. The price and financial terms of the deal are currently not disclosed.
API.ai helps developers with APIs with bot engines that handles chat interfaces such as speech recognition, intent recognition and context management. The API.ai platform lets developers add intelligent voice command tools into their products and services that can understand the complexities of the human language, thus making apps more personable for consumers.
“API.ai has a proven track record for helping developers design, build and continuously improve their conversational interfaces,” Google VP of Engineering Scott Huffman wrote in the blog announcement. “Api.ai offers one of the leading conversational user interface platforms and they’ll help Google empower developers to continue building great natural language interfaces.”
One of API.ai’s core products is Assistant, a conversational app which reports more than 40 million users, and is the top rated assistant app available in the market. A preview edition of the Assistant was made recently available with Allo, a brand new chat application from Google.
Google already offers a slew of machine learning products on their cloud platform, including their Natural Language API which parses sentences, extracts entities, sentiment and syntax from uploaded text. Exact details of what API.ai will provide to Google are unknown, but this acquisition will bring in additional talent and resources to enhance their apps with natural language interfaces.
API.ai was founded in October 2010 in Sunnyvale, CA and has received $8.6 million in four investment rounds. Investors include Alpine Technology Fund, Intel Capital, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, and SAIC Capital.