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Uber Invests in AI with Acquisition and Lab Opening

Tyrone Stewart

Self-Driving-UberUber has made significant strides in its aim to create a fleet of self-driving vehicles with its latest development – the formation of Uber AI Labs, a division dedicated to research in AI and machine learning.

If that was not enough, Uber also announced the acquisition of AI research startup Geometric Intelligence, whose 15 members will take the reins of Uber’s AI Labs. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Geometric Intelligence was founded in 2014 by ‘a group of noted scientists and leading machine learning pioneers’. Its CEO, Gary Marcus, will lead Uber’s new division.

These two developments comes three months after Uber launched a self-driving vehicle pilot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Uber says it's 'in the business of using technology to move people and things in the real world' – whether this is through using AI to determine an optimal route, computing when a car or UberEats order will arrive, or matching riders for UberPool.

The decision to make more active strides into AI, by acquiring technology companies or members of their staff, comes at a time when several other multinationals aim to do the same. Recent examples include Apple and Samsung. It also comes just a few days after Amazon announced three new AI services.