Twitter buys two-year-old British start-up company for $150M

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  • Twitter buys a British start-up for $150 million
  • The company Magic Pony specializes in machine learning for videos
  • Twitter is expected to work with Magic Pony to improve on its live and video services

Tech giant Twitter bought a London-based start-up company specializing in artificial intelligence for $150 million.

The social media company took over the reins of Magic Pony, handing in a fortune for its founders 26-year-old Rob Bishop and 28-year-old Wang Zehan. This is the third British company that Twitter bought.

Bishop and Wang, both graduates of the Imperial College London, started their company in 2014; specializing in machine learning which creates high-quality videos from grainy footage.

Twitter is expected to incorporate machine learning into its live and video services such as Periscope and Vine.

“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,” explained Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey in his blog.

Dorsey added that Twitter will be working with the team from Magic Pony, which includes 11 PhD holders whose expertise ranges from computer vision to machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience.

“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 our strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter,” he writes.

This latest announcement has excited investors in Britain, with Magic Pony’s investors, Octopus Ventures and Balderton Capital, emphasizing the United Kingdom’s potential in the field of artificial intelligence.

“The UK continues to grow as the ‘go-to’ place for companies looking to build best in breed AI technology,” Luke Hakes from Octopus Ventures told The Guardian.

 

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