Twitter today announced it has acquired Magic Pony Technology, a London-based developer of machine learning and visual processing technology, expanding the machine learning capabilities in Twitter’s video technology and adding valuable talent to the company’s Cortex team.
“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and co-founder. “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.”
“Our team has researched and developed state-of-the-art machine learning techniques for visual processing that can identify the features of imagery and use that information to process it in new ways,” said Rob Bishop, Magic Pony CEO and co-founder. “Joining forces with Twitter gives us the opportunity to bring the benefits of that research to hundreds of millions of people around the world, and allows Magic Pony to contribute to better quality viewing experiences on Twitter.”
Magic Pony’s interdisciplinary team includes 11 PhDs and alumni of some of the top labs in the world with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing, and computational neuroscience. Bishop will be based out of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, and co-founder Zehan Wang and the other members will join Twitter’s growing London office.
“London is an important engineering center for us, responsible for some of our highest priority product work, like live video,” said Jeremy Rishel, Twitter VP of Engineering. “The Magic Pony team there will serve as the European base of the Twitter Cortex team and help recruit more top talent from the region.”
Today’s acquisition builds on Twitter’s investment 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.