Uber has made headlines in the tech world this year, saying that they have the intentions of relying on autonomous vehicles in the future. Now, the transportation app has made yet another step in the direction of artificial intelligence, purchasing an AI-startup.

The announcement came yesterday, revealing that Uber has purchased Geometric Intelligence in order to establish the core for their new central AI lab that will be based in their San Francisco headquarters, RC Wireless writes.

Uber AI Labs will work with researching artificial intelligence, focusing on machine learning, while searching for a solution of using object or scenario recognition with smaller sets of data. This initiative will be an addition to Uber’s advanced technology center, a self-driving car lab in Pittsburgh, and their self-driving truck company, ‘Otto’.

“In spite of notable wins with machine learning in recent years, we are still very much in the early innings of machine intelligence,” Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, wrote in a blog post.

“The formation of Uber AI Labs, to be directed by Geometric’s Founding CEO Gary Marcus, represents Uber’s commitment to advancing the state of the art, driven by our vision that moving people and things in the physical world can be radically faster, safer and accessible to all.”

Two years ago, Geometric Intelligence was a relatively unknown company that was established by academics with funding coming from New York University cognitive scientist Gary Marcus, Cambridge machine learning professor Zoubin Ghahramani, University of Central Florida computer science professor Kenneth Stanley and NYU PhD in neurolinguistics Douglas Bemis.

In addition to these, the company is made up by 15 academics who are working within the fields of data science and AI. “If you look into the future, there are going to be step-function changes in artificial intelligence that will affect business models and business opportunities,” Holden said. “We very much want to be a part of that.”

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