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June 20, 2016

Twitter buys a machine learning company to improve your videos

by John_A

Facebook isn’t the only social network to see some value in artificial intelligence. Twitter has bought Magic Pony, a small London outfit that specializes in using machine learning to process visuals, at an unofficial worth of around $150 million. It’s hoping to use the newly acquired talent to “enhance [its] strength” in both live and pre-recorded videos. What exactly it will do isn’t clear, but Twitter chief Jack Dorsey points to Magic Pony’s work on sharpening blurry video elements as an example — it’s easy to see machine learning improving the quality of clips (especially on Periscope) without consuming more of your all-important bandwidth.

This isn’t Twitter’s first AI-related acquisition. It bought Madbits back in 2014, and Whetlab last year. However, you’re more likely to notice this one. Twitter’s first machine learning buyouts were about organizing pictures and analyzing tweets, both of which tend to happen behind the scenes. You’ll probably notice Magic Pony’s efforts every time you see a Periscope stream, a movie trailer or a sports replay.

Source: Twitter, Magic Pony, TechCrunch

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