Twitter Invests In Deep Learning, Acquires Madbits

Following similar forays into artificial intelligence by Facebook and Google, Twitter just bought “deep learning” start-up Madbits. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tech giants’ respective investments in “deep learning” represent a broader effort to more efficiently make sense of the vast amounts of content that users upload to their platforms.   

Madbits boasts the ability to “understand” the content of an image, whether or not there are tags associated with that image. “We’ve built visual intelligence technology that automatically understands, organizes and extracts relevant information from raw media,” Madbits co-founders Clément Farabet and Louis-Alexandre Etezad-Heydari, explained in a blog post.

Last year, Google enlisted artificial intelligence expert Ray Kurzweil, while Facebook brought on NYU professor Yann LeCun to lead its new artificial intelligence laboratory.
Earlier this year, Chinese search giant Baidu opened a research and development facility in Silicon Valley and announced the appointment of artificial intelligence researcher Andrew Ng as chief scientist. Ng is perhaps best known for founding Google's Deep Learning team.
Baidu’s Deep Learning Lab focuses on image recognition and image-based search, voice recognition, natural language processing and semantic intelligence, machine translation and advertising matching.
The Madbits founders describe deep learning as an approach to statistical machine learning “that involves stacking simple projections to form powerful hierarchical models of a signal.”
Twitter declined to discuss the Madbits deal, on Wednesday.
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