Maluuba, a deep learning company which raised a $9 million series A in January, has opened a research and development lab with a focus on developing proprietary algorithms to solve language problems.
The research lab will be led by Maluuba’s CTO, Kaheer Suleman, and will be staffed by 13 deep learning research scientists. Maluuba has partnered with Yoshua Bengio, a machine learning and neural computation expert from the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and a Canada Research Chair in statistical learning algorithms. Maluuba has also partnered with reinforcement learning expert Richard Sutton, a principal investigator from the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning and an Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Fellow.
“For a computer to understand humans speaking in natural language and respond appropriately, it needs to capture and represent a large amount of knowledge that is not just words, but also common sense and context about the topic being discussed by the human,” said Sam Pasupalak, co-founder and CEO of Maluuba. “Maluuba is working with leading experts and the world’s premiere academic centre for deep learning to design systems that can represent knowledge and answer questions in natural language. The potential applications of this research are staggering.”
Waterloo-based Maluuba develops voice-activated personal assistants for mobile devices, and currently enables interactive natural language and conversational dialogue experiences in over 50 million smart devices globally including IoT, mobile phones, and smart TVs. The company counts LG as one of its customers.
Maluuba is currently focused on two research streams within machine learning — dialogue and machine reading — and boasts 80 percent accuracy on the Machine Comprehension test; 8 percent higher than the existing benchmark of 72 percent.