Twitter has bought a machine learning startup that can automatically sharpen low-resolution and blurred video in real time. The social network announced this morning that it had acquired London-based Magic Pony Technology for an undisclosed sum, with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeting that the move will help the the company reach its goal of “making Twitter the first and best place to see what’s happening in the world.”
The benefits of Magic Pony’s tech are clear for Twitter. Earlier this year, the company unveiled some of its machine learning research, showing how its algorithms can essentially upgrade the resolution of low-res videos using ordinary graphics cards. The Magic Pony team includes 11 PhDs, with their expertise ranging across computer vision, computational neuroscience, and deep learning.
The startup’s deep learning algorithms learn what high-resolution textures and terrains look like by automatically scanning and labeling sample imagery. Bishop told Technology Reviewthat Magic Pony’s computer vision products can fill in the blanks in videos like Photoshop’s auto-fill tool, and improve the image quality of pictures taken on low-resolution cameras. The startup’s name reportedly comes from the reaction of an early investor who described their tech as a “magic pony” — something no one would believe without seeing it first.
The startup said in its own announcement that the Magic Pony team would serve as “the European homebase for Twitter’s machine learning efforts,” and that with the social media firm it wants to “vastly [accelerate] our rate of research.” So: less blurry videos on Twitter, sooner. Sounds good.
Source: James Vincent , theverge.com