Yahoo acquires natural language processing start-up SkyPhrase

Yahoo has acquired SkyPhrase, a start-up with a focus on natural language processing.

The acquisition appears to include technology and talent, as Yahoo revealed in a blog post that it is "exited to welcome" SkyPhrase's team of four. The SkyPhrase team built an "amazing natural language processing" technology, and will be joining the Yahoo Labs team in New York.

In a post on its website, SkyPhrase said it believed online information and services would be more powerful if they used natural language, and the technology it has developed will enable computers to do just that - understand more complex and precise human language.

"We are excited to join Yahoo Labs to continue to work on our shared vision of making computers deeply understand people's natural language and intentions," SkyPhrase added.

TechCrunch reported that SkyPhrase's technology is similar to Wolfram Alpha or Siri and that the company had also worked on two apps: one app looked up fantasy football stats while the other integrated with Google Analytics.

Forbes reported that SkyPhrase's technology is more advanced than Siri and works with both Gmail and Twitter, enabling users to search and receive tailored results when speaking phrases that have multiple variables, such as saying,  "Show me tweets from Lisa Eldridge with pictures" or "Show me emails Stuart sent over the weekend with attachments".

READ: OK Google: Voice search next frontier for Google as it looks beyond link list mentality

The acquisition indicates Yahoo sees voice search as a thing of the future - an idea touted most recently by Google. The internet giant has been pushing its Google Now voice search service over the last year, and it has even hinted that voice search is where internet browsing is headed.

Despite all the speculation, however, Yahoo hasn't specifically detailed what SkyPhrase will be doing under the Yahoo Labs research arm.



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