Microsoft to buy Bonsai to boost AI developer tools

The company has already received significant funding from Microsoft through M12

Microsoft has acquired Californian startup Bonsai to help developers introduce machine learning to their existing autonomous systems running on Microsoft Azure.

Bonsai allows those not adept at developing AI-based applications to create new projects, specifying and training autonomous systems to carry out tasks demanded of them.

It's designed for use across almost every industry, although Microsoft highlighted robotics, energy, HVAC, manufacturing and autonomous systems as key targets.

"Bonsai's platform combined with rich simulation tools and reinforcement learning work in Microsoft Research becomes the simplest and richest AI toolchain for building any kind of autonomous system for control and calibration tasks," Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Business AI division said.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Bonsai has already received significant funding from Microsoft in the past, including a cash injection from the company's M12 venture capitalist arm to help develop its developer tools. It seems the tech giant was so impressed with what the startup did with its money, it's now decided to onboard the tech, adding it to its suite of developer tools.

"What I find exciting is that Bonsai has achieved some remarkable breakthroughs with their approach that will have a profound impact on AI development," Pall added. "Last fall, they established a new reinforcement learning benchmark for programming industrial control systems. Using a robotics task to demonstrate the achievement, the platform successfully trained a simulated robotic arm to grasp and stack blocks on top of one another by breaking down the task into simpler sub-concepts."

It managed to perform 45 times faster than Microsoft's rival, Google DeepMind, Pall added - something that surely contributed to the company's decision to snap it up.

Microsoft has been acquiring AI businesses left, right and centre recently, including the purchase of Maluuba for enhancing its deep learning tools. It's also made solid advances in simulation-based learning in the form of AirSim and is planning to buy developer repository GitHub in the coming months.

Image credit: Microsoft 

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/technology/33253/toyota-partners-with-nvidia-to-create-the-future-of-autonomous-vehicles
Technology

Toyota, NVIDIA partner on self-driving cars

20 Mar 2019

Most Popular

Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/laptops/354533/dell-xps-13-new-9300-hands-on-review-chasing-perfection
Laptops

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020