Twitter acquires London AI startup, Magic Pony

Twitter acquires London AI startup, Magic Pony
Image Source: The Country Caller

In its recent strategic moves, Twitter has acquired London based Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Magic Pony for around USD 150 mn. The machine learning startup is known to automatically sharpen low-resolution and blurred video in real time and will be integrated into Twitter’s live and video services such as Periscope and Vine.

According to Twitter Chief Executive, Jack Dorsey, “Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter”.

“Magic Pony’s technology – based on algorithms that can understand the features of imagery – will be used to enhance our strength in live and video” , he added.

Twitter tweeted about its move early in the day yesterday stating that the move is geared towards enhancing its machine learning efforts and strength in video.

Magic Pony 1Magic Pony has 11 PhDs on board and has attracted investment from Entrepreneur First, Octopus Ventures and Balderton Capital, whose basement the company launched from. Reportedly, the Magic Pony team  will operate through the UK and thereby set up Twitter’s AI research team in Europe. CEO Rob Bishop will move to California.

According to Rob Bishop, the technology is designed to enhance image quality, especially videos shot in low lighting conditions. Further, it could also be used to sharpen pixelated images in a live video or game. Now isn’t this cool?

“Online video-streaming businesses rely heavily on video compression. Our first product demonstrates that image quality can be greatly enhanced using deep learning, and fast mobile GPUs now allow us to deploy it anywhere”, Rob explained in an interview earlier in the year.


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