Google today announced it has acquired French machine learning startup Moodstocks for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks and seems to be focused primarily on the talent, with the team at Moodstocks moving to Google's Paris R&D site, and its image recognition API for smartphones to be gradually phased out.
Moodstocks ¬https://moodstocks.com news of the deals on its website along with details of what this means for users: “Our focus will be to build great image recognition tools within Google, but rest assured that current paying Moodstocks customers will be able to use it until the end of their subscription. This also means that we will be discontinuing our image recognition services soon, but we look forward to bringing you even better tools as part of Google.”
Google already employs machine learning in several of its apps, such as Google Translate and Inbox’s Smart Reply, as well as image recognition in Photos. The latter, for example, lets you use search terms such as such as ‘party’ or ‘beach’ and find relevant pictures without you needing to categorize them manually. But there’s a lot more work to do in this area and this is where the Moodstocks team’s image recognition expertise comes in.
Google is not alone in wanting to turn images into categorizable, searchable data. Facebook already does image recognition to identify people in photos and videos, while Twitter recently acquired London-based Magic Pony to advance its machine learning smarts in image recognition and contextualize what people are tweeting about.