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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Google acquires start-up to boost Assistant’s answering abilities

The acquisition will help boost Google Assistant’s ability to accurately answer users’ questions.

tech Updated: Jan 04, 2019 12:30 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Google paid nearly $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod’s assets.
Google paid nearly $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod’s assets.(REUTERS)
         

Google has acquired a start-up named Superpod that built an app allowing users to post questions and receive answers from experts quickly -- a move that will help boost Google Assistant’s ability to accurately answer users’ questions.

According to a report in Axios late Thursday, Google paid nearly $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod’s assets.

Google later confirmed the acquisition to Fortune but declined to disclose financial details.

Superpod shut down its Q&A app in September last year.

“We can’t share any details at this time, but we’re trekking onwards toward the same north star and are very excited about the future,” Superpod founders wrote in a message.

ALSO READ: Microsoft’s Cortana scores worst in smart speaker IQ test, Google Home most accurate

Google is constantly working on to improve its Assistant’s capabilities to take on similar voice-based services like Amazon Alexa.

Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant recently outperformed her -- and other voice assistants like Apple Siri -- in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers.

In the 2018 edition of “Smart Speaker IQ Test” by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9% of the questions correctly -- up from 81.1% in 2017, The Street.com reported last month.  

First Published: Jan 04, 2019 12:30 IST

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