Baidu Acquires Chatbot Company KITT.AI

Baidu has acquired the Seattle-based chatbot software company, KITT.AI. The deal has been completed for an undisclosed amount. It is thought that Baidu is looking to move its AI efforts forward quickly, and is expected to use KITT.AI for its tools that simplify incorporating natural language processing into messaging apps. Baidu has completed several acquisition deals recently, all pointing to an attempt to expand its business from search and advertising, to messaging and ecommerce. Following the deal, the software available to Baidu includes 'hotword' detection software, a multilingual natural language engine, and a developer-friendly chatbot coding service. It is reported that the company is most interested in the natural language engine, something which can be effectively used in a range of consumer messaging apps.