Google picks up artificial intelligence mobile messenging assistant Emu

Summary:But with the acquisition, Emu is shutting down support for its users on iOS devices very soon.


Google Now could be taking a new direction with the internet giant's purchase of Emu, a self-touted "built-in" virtual assistant.

Founded in 2012 by alums from Siri, Apple, and Yahoo Messenger as well as Google, the app's functionality isn't far off from Google Now or other virtual assistant platforms on the market. Emu can share locations, manage reminders, schedule meetings, and more.

The difference with Emu, as touted by its makers, is that this platform relies on artificial intelligence, or machine learning and natural language processing, to perform all of these tasks in real time as quickly as one can share a photo via text.

The learning aspect is key for Google, being that this could give Google Now much more context at an even faster rate across multiple mobile platforms.

The mobile messenger originally launched for Android but eventually expanded to iPhone.

The Emu team confirmed the merger in a blog post on Wednesday.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based crew added with an apologetic tone that the Emu app as it currently exists will be shut down, effective August 25.

After that date, users will not be able to use the app to send, receive, or download messages — nor will Emu be listed as a standalone app any longer.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

For a closer look at Emu, check out the promo clip below:

Topics: Mobility, Google, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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