Microsoft has bought US-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Lobe in order to hasten the development of its AI capabilities.
Lobe has an easy-to-use interface which allows users to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code.
The technology also allows "intelligent apps" to be created without requiring code to be written. These apps can understand hand gestures, hear music and read handwriting.
Kevin Scott, CTO at Microsoft, said that the company's latest investment is part of its commitment to make AI more accessible to people and partners.
"In many ways, we're only just beginning to tap into the full potential AI can provide," he wrote in a blog post.
"This in large part is because AI development and building deep-learning models are slow and complex processes even for experienced data scientists and developers."
Lobe is the third AI startup to be snapped up this year by Microsoft, following on the heels of conversational AI startup Semantic Machines in May and Bonsai, a company which specialises in creating machine-learning models for autonomous systems.
"We look forward to continuing the great work by Lobe in putting AI development into the hands of non-engineers and non-experts," Scott said.
"We're thrilled to have Lobe join Microsoft and are excited about our future together to simplify AI development for everyone."
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
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