Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic organization has bought Meta, a search engine that uses artificial intelligence to find scientific research papers.
The acquisition will aid Zuckerberg’s goal of curing the world’s diseases by the end of the century, Meta cofounder Sam Molyneux said in a Facebook post on Monday. Meta will continue to operate and be made available as a free resource for the scientific community.
Zuckerberg founded The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with Priscilla Chan in late 2015 as a vehicle to eventually give away 99% of their $52 billion fortune. In September, the couple announced that they were donating $3 billion to curing the world’s major diseases, including a $600 million research center in San Francisco called the Biohub.
“Meta’s tools can dramatically accelerate scientific progress and move us closer to our goal: to support science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century,” Chan Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Meta will help scientists learn from others’ discoveries in real time, find key papers that may have gone unnoticed, or even predict where their field is headed.”
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has invested in a few education startups to date, but Meta marks the organization’s first full acquisition. While created as a way to give away money, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is technically structured as a limited liability company, which gives it the ability to more easily acquire for-profit companies and lobby on behalf of its interests.