Google picks up natural language search specialist

Is Yahoo aiming to stay relevant?

A US-based start up that launched last year has been snapped up by Google for an estimated $30m as natural language search and summarisation captures the industry’s imagination.

Wavii builds customised news feeds for users, summarising news articles, blogs and twitter feeds to make them more easily digestible. It appears comparable to UK startup Summly, which was acquired by Google’s rival Yahoo for a similar amount last month. The engineers behind Wavii have previously worked at Microsoft and Amazon.

Reports suggest that Apple had also expressed an interest in Wavii with a view to integrating the technology into Siri. Wavii has shut down its services and website post acquisition as the technology is brought into the new mothership, perhaps to help Google deliver bite sized information feeds or to enhance search with natural language capabilities.

“You probably know us best for our app that takes the deluge of information streaming across the web and condenses it into fast, fun updates. While we won’t continue to offer this particular service, we’ll be using our natural language research at Google in ways that may be useful to millions of people around the world,” said Adrian Aoun, CEO.

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