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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative acquires science-search engine Meta, sets it free

The Facebook founder's philanthropic arm will offer the journal search engine as a free tool. For science.


Science search engine Meta has signed an agreement to be acquired by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, pending shareholder and court approvals, it announced late Monday. The Facebook-founder-owned philanthropic organization revealed (on Facebook) that it would offer Meta's tools free to all researchers.

Meta's secret sauce is artificial intelligence, rather than the more programmatic algorithms used by search engines like Google, and that it's optimized for scientific research. By opening up the tool to all, CZI's goal is to break down some of the barriers that preclude the sharing of information, thereby encouraging scientific progress.

"In the field of biomedicine alone, researchers publish more than 4,000 scientific papers every day. But many of these papers will not be read by the scientists who could learn the most from them," said CZI's Cori Bargmann and Brian Pinkerton, in a statement. "Scientists know that existing search tools can't capture all of the relevant knowledge in this immense volume of scientific research. Meta is a tool that helps fill that gap."

You can reserve an account now for when it goes live, after the approvals come through.