Yahoo Acquires Language Processing Technology SkyPhrase

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced that it acquired SkyPhrase, a natural language processing technology (NLP) startup, but it did not disclose the amount of the transaction.

SkyPhrase team happy with Yahoo’s acquisition

The SkyPhrase Team said, “In Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), we have found a company that not only shares our vision, but delivers a rich collection of information and services to a massive user base. 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. We can’t wait to take things to the next level together.”

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On the other end of the deal, the Yahoo Labs team praised the natural language processing technology built by the SkyPhrase team, and they are excited to work together.

SkyPhrase uses artificial intelligence technology and it is popular for creating a comprehensive method to teach machines to understand human speech. The start-up is significant for Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) because it is focused on fantasy sports, and it could integrate the NLP technology in other services.

Nick Cassimatis’ primary focus

Nick Cassimatis, an entrepreneur and cognitive scientist, is the CEO and founder of SkyPhrase. His primary focus is to teach computers to understand the complexity of human speech. He developed an artificial intelligence technology intended to combine brute force and logical reasoning methods to allow computers to deconstruct and understand endless strings of words, expressions and sentences as well as the nuance of syntax, emphasis and tone in human speech.

Cassimatis and his team succeeded in developing alternative techniques that allowed machines to provide answers to queries accurately. The SkyPhrase NLP technology’s answers to queries is almost 90% accurate compared with the responses of Wolfram Alpha and Siri on queries. In other words, SkyPhrase NLP technology is more conversational.

Yahoo’s older acquisitions

Under the leadership of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) already purchased several start-ups including micro blogging platform Tumblr, mobile advertising specialist Admovate, and mobile app maker Summly.

Meanwhile, comScore reported that Yahoo Sites ranked third in the U.S. search market with an 11.1% share for the month of October. Google Sites remained number one with 66.9% followed by Microsoft Sites with a 18.1% market share.