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Microsoft Is Acquiring Lobe, a No-Code AI Development Firm

Lobe, a three-year-old artificial intelligence (AI) startup that provides "no code" tools for creating AI projects, is being acquired by Microsoft.

Low-code and even no-code tools have grown tremendously in recent years as hard-to-find developer talent is even more elusive amid strong enterprise demand. Their approach typically is model-driven, reliant upon templates and visually oriented, offering drag-and-drop composability features.

San Francisco, Calif.-based Lobe offers just such a drag-and-drop approach for image recognition for deep learning models. Examples can be found here and interested developers can sign up for the beta on the company's site.

"As part of Microsoft, Lobe will be able to leverage world-class AI research, global infrastructure, and decades of experience building developer tools," the company said on its Web site. "We plan to continue developing Lobe as a standalone service, supporting open source standards and multiple platforms."

"Lobe's simple visual interface empowers anyone to develop and apply deep learning and AI models quickly, without writing code. We look forward to continuing the great work by Lobe in putting AI development into the hands of non-engineers and non-experts," wrote Kevin Scott, Microsoft executive vice president and CTO, in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

Scott pointed out that Lobe is only the most recent of Microsoft's AI-focused acquisitions in the last few months; the company acquired Semantic Machines and Bonsai in July. "These are just two recent examples of investments we have made to help us accelerate the current state of AI development," he commented.

Microsoft also has also announced several of it's own AI initiatives this year. A roundup of its current technologies can be found here.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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