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Google acquires API.AI to help developers build natural language interfaces

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Google has announced the acquisition of API.AI, a startup that has designed a conversational UX platform. The new deal is aimed to enable developers to build natural language interfaces.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based API.AI gives voices to a wide range of technologies, starting from bots and applications to services and devices. It offers intelligent voice command systems that developers can integrate into their various artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and human-computer interaction offerings. All this has apparently persuaded Google to take the buying decision.

“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,” said Scott Huffman, vice president of engineering at Google, in a blog post.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the post by Huffman suggested some integrations of API.AI tools into Google.

Presently, API.AI provides conversational capabilities in 15 languages. More than 3 billion API requests have been made for the API.AI platform and its Assistant conversational app has so far received over 40 million users.

Win-win strategy

The new acquisition is appeared to be a win-win strategy for both Google and API.AI. While over 60,000 developers are already using the API.AI platform, the latest deal is likely to expand the current developer base. It would also empower Google to fight against tech companies like Facebook and Microsoft that all are running for advanced AI practices.

Moreover, the decision of taking over API.AI would help Google enhance developer engagements and provide natural language interfaces through its existing development platforms.