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Yahoo snaps up natural language startup

SkyPhrase acquisition expected to bolster Web firm’s search offerings

Yahoo snaps up natural language startup
SkyPhrase technology has been used in conjunction with Web analytics, but could also be applied to Yahoo’s fantasy sports offerings.

Yahoo Inc has acquired SkyPhrase, a startup company specialising in natural language processing technologies, online media reported today.

The SkyPhrase team has reportedly been merged with Yahoo's New York City R&D lab.

The acquired intellectual property will help the search company to formulate better search results as CEO Marrisa Mayer continues her campaign to remodel the former tech giant.

TechCrunch suggested the NLP framework might be applied to Yahoo's fantasy sports services, but SkyPhrase technology has also been used in conjunction with Web analytics.

In March, Yahoo bought Summly, a company that produced an app capable of summarising large bodies of text into a few paragraphs. The acquisition was aligned with Mayer's vision of targeting mobile consumers. SkyPhrase is likely to also fit in with this strategy, given the increasing number of handsets that offer voice-activated command features.

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