Microsoft has acquired Lobe, a visual platform on which it’s possible to make custom learning models with practically zero coding knowledge by using a drag and drop interface.
Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s CTO and EVP, explained that even though deep learning and AI are transforming modern technology, it’s still quite difficult to build such systems. Consequently, not as many business owners are able to access and thus benefit from AI
Lobe makes the process quite simple. All a user needs to do is to drag in a folder of training examples, and the software will automatically build a custom learning model and start the training process. When it’s finished, the user can proceed to export it.
Despite being owned by Microsoft, Lobe will continue operating as a standalone service. Multiple platforms will be supported.
Lobe wrote a blog post stating that the company will be able to leverage world-class AI research, developer tool-building knowledge, and global infrastructure. They are committed to making deep learning understandable, simple, and designed in a way so that everyone can access it.
Acquiring Lobe is not the only investment Microsoft have made this year. Among others, they now own GitHub and four gaming companies. When looking for new potential acquisitions, they are keeping their eyes peeled to snag another good AI company deal.
Moreover, they have also acquired Semantic Machines in May and Bosai in July. The former is an AI company specialising in natural languages, while the latter focuses on developing machine teaching, simulation, and reinforcement learning solutions.