Last week Microsoft announced that it has acquired Lobe, a San Francisco based company who are working to make artificial intelligence simple and accessible.

Artificial Intelligence is a growing industry, albeit slower than other technologies due to the lengthy process of building deep learning models. The breakthroughs that have already occurred are benefiting society; doctors can treat cancer more effectively, farmers can make better use of natural resources in food production and communication barriers are disappearing.

Recently, Microsoft have been investing in this new area. In May, they acquired Semantic Machines to improve natural-language and conversational AI. Microsoft bought Bonsai in July, which aims to reduce the barriers to AI development through combining machine teaching, learning and simulations.

With Lobe, users can drag a folder of training examples from their desktop and the software will automatically build a model and start training it. After completion, the user simply exports the model directly to their application. In this way, Lobe is making deep learning simple, understandable and accessible to everyone. The visual interface allows anyone to develop and apply AI models quickly, without any code knowledge. This should make AI widely available, and speed its development.

Source: Microsoft Blog