AI Startup Meta Acquired By Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

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On Monday, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced that it's acquiring an artificial intelligence startup Meta. The company revealed its first acquisition on Facebook, but the price of the deal wasn't disclosed. Meta developed an AI-powered search engine of the same name that's designed to filter through scientific research. The tool can reportedly facilitate research by providing quick access to relevant papers and analyzing trends in the scientific community. Meta designed its creation to advance both scientific and technological research and CZI said that this acquisition brings the company closer to its ultimate goal, elimination of all diseases by the end of the 21st century.

In addition to filtering through hundreds of thousands of research papers, Meta also has the potential to predict future scientific breakthroughs, its creators claim. While it's currently focused on scientific and technological research, Meta could also theoretically be utilized in other sectors like education. CZI's acquisition of the startup won't cause any structural changes as Meta will continue to be headed by its co-founders and siblings Sam and Amy Molyneux. Meta already raised approximately $6 million in a round of private funding in late 2015 and has already raised over $7 million in funding to date. CZI said that the company's search engine will be available for free at some point in the future. The acquisition of Meta coincides with CZI's ultimate goal to "advance human potential" by investing into research and technologies aimed at improving humanity and everyone's quality of life.

CZI was established by the co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan in late 2015. The company was founded independently of Facebook though Zuckerberg and Chan donated 99-percent of their Facebook shares to the organization. Their former stake in Facebook was valued at around $45 billion, giving CZI plenty of resources to work with for the foreseeable future. The company is currently focused on investing in research related to energy, science, education, and health, so its acquisition of Meta makes sense of paper seeing how the startup could seemingly influence all four of those sectors. CZI is expected to announce more similar acquisitions in the future.

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