Twitter has announced that in order to build up capabilities in machine learning it is acquiring Magic Pony Technology, a London-based technology company that has developed novel machine learning techniques for visual processing, as per the blog-post from the company.
It helps Twitter build on other investments made in machine learning, beginning with the acquisitions of Madbits in July 2014 and Whetlab in June 2015. Magic Pony’s team will be joining Twitter Cortex, a team of engineers, data scientists, and machine learning researchers dedicated to building a product in which people can easily find new experiences to share and participate in.
Magic Pony’s technology – based on research by the team to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery – will be used to enhance Twitter strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter. The Magic Pony team includes 11 PhDs with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience, who are alumni of some of the top labs in the world.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed but citing sources TechCrunch reported that Twitter is paying $150 million in all for the deal. This takes into account retention bonuses for the staff, which numbers about 11, including co-founders Zehan Wang and CEO Rob Bishop.
“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “Magic Pony’s machine learning technology will help us build strength into our deep learning teams with world-class talent, so Twitter can continue to be the best place to see what’s happening and why it matters, first. We value deep learning research to help make our world better, and we will keep doing our part to share our work and learnings with the community.”