Twitter has announced that is it buying British-based artificial intelligence startup Magic Pony to bolster its capacity for analysis of visual content.
Magic Pony’s technology, based on research to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery “will be used to enhance our strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter,” said Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey in a blog post.
“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter. It’s powering much of the work we’re doing to make it easier to create, share, and discover the very best content so that every time you open Twitter you’re immersed in the most relevant news, stories, and events for you.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Twitter is reported to be paying in the region of $150 million.
The move comes with Twitter struggling to grow its user base and achieve profitability amid disappointment in the platform after a long-awaited 2013 initial public offering.
Rob Bishop, Magic Pony’s CEO and co-founder, said joining forces with Twitter “gives us the opportunity to bring the benefits of that research to hundreds of millions of people around the world, and allows Magic Pony to contribute to better quality viewing experiences on Twitter.”
Magic Pony team includes scientists with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience.
Bishop will be based out of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, and co-founder Zehan Wang and the other members will join Twitter’s London office, according to a statement.
Magic Pony’s team will be joining Twitter Cortex, a team of engineers, data scientists, and machine learning researchers. Twitter’s other machine learning acquisitions include Madbits in July 2014 and Whetlab in June 2015.
Feature image credit: Flickr