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Google snaps up Wavii for $30m - report

Choc Factory said to have nabbed machine-learning social network

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Google is getting ready to announce the acquisition of natural language processing firm Wavii for around $30m, familiar people have been muttering.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others that the Chocolate Factory had snapped up the Seattle startup, which specialises in programming computers to understand human communication, then spit out Facebook-style news feeds to targeted users.

Google said it would not comment on speculation and Wavii couldn't be reached for comment.

If the rumour mill turns out to be churning out facts, Wavii could help Google with its web search division - according to WSJ, specifically the team of algorithm-tweakers at Knowledge Graph - or, potentially, with Google+, since its tagline is "status updates for the world".

The company automatically creates status updates for users' favourite celebrities, gadgets, politicians and news.

"These updates highlight what's happening, like a political victory, dramatic breakup, startup acquisition or new app release, so you're in the know and can discuss with friends," the firm says on its website.

Wavii says it compiles its feeds by "teaching computers to read everything" on the internet and turning it into social content.

"The science dates back to years of natural language research at universities and private research institutions, to which we're applying a unique approach," the firm says.

Reg readers wondering what "natural language processing" is all about can read more on this helpful page from Google, complete with references to academic sources. ®

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