Google announces API.AI purchase
Google announces API.AI purchase. Image credit: Breakroom Nora.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) acquired conversational user interfaces startup API.AI to improve its development of chatbots. API.AI provides developers and companies with tools to build voice-enabled interfaces for mobile, web, and devices.

The API.AI platform lets developers add intelligent voice command systems into their products and services. The result is a consumer-friendly voice-based interaction such as the Assistant app.

Created in 2010, API.AI’s Assistant is a conversational app which reports more than 40 million users, and it is the top rated assistant app available in the market. API.AI makes tools that allow an easier interaction between human and bots.

Google VP of Engineering Scott Huffman, via post in the Official Google Blog, confirmed API.AI’s team will bring in their leading conversational user interface platforms as well as their vast experience in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and human-computer interaction services.

API.AI and Google’s work on AI assistants 

Google has been making investments in machine learning technologies to develop better natural language interfaces for years, and API.AI is one of the best in the market. Huffman said API.AI had helped developers design, build and improve their conversational interfaces.

There are over 60,000 developers already using API.AI including Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Kik. In addition to chatbots, API.AI has conceived conversational interfaces for connected cars, smart home and wearable devices, mobile applications, services, and robots.

Since its launch in 2014, the company’s mission has been to create software that understands and speaks the human language as well as assist developers in building truly intelligent conversational interfaces for their products and services.

In a blog post, API.AI CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn said, that by joining Google, the company will give users access to the best technologies in AI and machine learning. Neither statement cleared if API.AI will work independently or as to how much Google paid for the startup.

How could Google use API.AI’s technology?

Even though Google has not disclosed what are its plans regarding API.AI’s technology, the web giant could use it to enhance messaging apps such as Google Allo, Google Duo, and Google Hangouts.

Allo seems like the most logical candidate as it features an assistance function where users can ask for information. API.AI could improve the app with its natural language interfaces.

DeepMind could also benefit from the API.AI acquisition. Google’s AI recently made an improvement over Text-to-Speech systems by mimicking human voice thanks to WaveNet.

Source: Official Google Blog