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Wavii confirms purchase by Google, shuts down natural-language service

updated 12:26 pm EDT, Fri April 26, 2013

Service shuttered, team moves to Bay Area for Knowledge Graph work

The Seattle-based newsfeed company Wavii has closed, after confirming earlier reports that Google has bought the company. Its website has been updated to confirm the purchase by the search giant, while also shutting the service down in order to work on using its natural-language research within Google itself.

Wavii generated newsfeed summaries from reports, using natural language processing to work out what are the important parts of a story to display. This is similar to Summly, a service bought by Yahoo last month for a supposed $30 million, a price reportedly equaled at minimum by Google for Wavii, despite allegedly being in a brief bidding war for the company with Apple, according to TechCrunch.

Aside from using Wavii's research to improve its web search results, it is likely that Google may employ it in some capacity in Google News or in the voice recognition feature of Google Now. Considering the company wanted to make a "Facebook out of Google" by linking the Facebook social graph to news stories that may be of interest to the user, there is a chance that Google could add its functionality to its own social network, Google+.

The staff of Wavii will reportedly move from Seattle to the Bay Area to work with Google's Knowledge Graph division.




by MacNN Staff

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