Categories Earnings, Technology

Facebook mulling purchase of British AI firm Bloomsbury

Facebook (FB) is planning to buy British AI start-up Bloomsbury AI in an expected cash-and-stock deal that could be worth around $30 million. Bloomsbury is a three-year old company that specializes in natural language tools and is the developer of a product named Cape, which can read text documents and answer questions on their content.

Facebook is considering this purchase as part of its efforts to tackle fake news and other issues with the content on its website. The company recently announced that it would add more human editors and improve its AI capabilities to rectify the problems related to its content. Its efforts included the global expansion of fact-checking resources to more regions.

Special treatment on user data

Meanwhile, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the issue of user data privacy, more revelations keep coming out. Documents handed over to US lawmakers indicate that Facebook granted 61 companies including Nike, Audi, Panasonic and Oracle a special extension to continue accessing user data.

After introducing changes to its rules regarding access to user data by apps in April 2014, Facebook set a compliance deadline of May 2015 for most apps. However these companies were given an extension of around six months after May to comply with the rules.

Facebook also said it granted relaxations to 52 technology firms like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft in order to help them make the necessary changes so that Facebook was easily accessible on their devices. These included Chinese companies like Alibaba too, which have raised security concerns.

Facebook said it ended the majority of these partnerships while some more are set to be terminated between July and October. A few more partnerships will continue beyond this timeframe.

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