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Google Snaps Up Photo Recognition Firm

Google Snaps Up Photo Recognition Firm
Google has bought Moodstocks, a French machine-learning company, to help boost its image search capabilities.

(CCM) — Google is ramping up its machine-learning capabilities by buying Moodstocks, a Paris-based company that specializes in image recognition for smartphones. Google already uses image recognition as part of its Google Photos service to allow users to search collections of photographs using simple words, like "beach" or "party," without having previously tagged them manually. Announcing the deal today in a blog post (in French), Vincent Simonet, Manager of Google's French R&D center, said that much more work remains to be done in the field of image recognition, and that that is where Moodstock's expertise will be useful.

Google uses machine learning in many of the services it offers, including Google Translate and Smart Reply in Inbox. The company also revealed this week that its self-driving cars use the technology to recognize cyclists' hand signals and to learn how cyclists are likely to react in different situations. Machine-learning capabilities are likely to be increasingly important for social media and other Internet companies that handle large volumes of photographs and videos, and Moodstocks is just the latest company in the field to be acquired. Two weeks ago Twitter spent $150 million to buy Magic Pony, a London-based company that uses machine learning to enhance photos and videos. Its technology will likely be integrated into Twitter's Periscope and Vine video services.

Photo: © akoppo - Shutterstock.com
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