Two weeks after Twitter acquired Magic Pony to advance its machine learning smarts in image recognition, Google is following suit. Today, the maker of Android and search giant announced that it has acquired Moodstocks, a startup based out of Paris that develops smartphone technology for image recognition.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed and it’s not clear if Moodstocks had raised any money: we’re trying to find out. As a point of reference, Twitter paid about $150 million in cash for its UK acquisition the other week.
Google will be bringing Moodstocks’ team and tech into its R&D operation based in France. In a short statement, Vincent Simonet, who heads up that center, says Google sees Moodstocks’ work contributing to better image searches, a service that is of course already offered in Google but is now going to be improved. “We have made great strides in terms of visual recognition,” he writes (in French), “but there is still much to do in this area.”
Like Magic Pony, Moodstocks uses machine learning algorithms to help Google’s searches “learn” more about how to find images that are similar and/or related to verbal search terms. On smartphones this is ever more essential: the challenges include the fact that users are less inclined to enter text; and may be using their own (poor quality) images to find similar ones.
Google has made other acquisitions in France, including FlexyCore (also for improving smartphone optimization). It’s also made a number of acquisitions to improve its tech in imaging, such as JetPac and PittPatt for facial recognition.
More to come.
Featured Image: Vincent Isore/Getty Images