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One step toward the ambitious goal of wiping out disease.

Mitch Wagner

January 24, 2017

1 Min Read
Zuckerberg Initiative Makes AI Acquisition

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a not-for-profit with the ambitious goal of wiping out disease, has made its first acquisition. The $45 billion philanthropic organization, founded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, bought Meta, an artificial intelligence (AI) company with technology that searches scientific literature and even predicts where to look for breakthroughs.

Meta, based in Toronto, uses AI to read scientific papers and deliver insights to researchers in real time. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative plans to make the technology available free to the scientific community, according to an announcement Monday from iGan Partners, lead investors in Meta.

Meta's earliest backers include iGan, which led the seed round and participated in every financing since, as well as Rho Canada Ventures, Horizon Ventures, Everline Investments and angels. It was founded in 2010, with about $10 million total investment, and about 21 employees.

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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