Twitter Buys Whetlab To Fast-Track Machine Learning Efforts

Twitter has just scooped up machine-learning start-up Whetlab for an undisclosed sum.

“We’ve acquired [Whetlab] to accelerate Twitter’s machine learning efforts,” Twitter tweeted on its Engineering blog, on Wednesday.

Twitter is not talking about how it intends to make use of Whetlab and its artificial intelligence technology. Potential applications include everything from object recognition in images to speech processing.

“Twitter is the platform for open communication on the internet and we believe that Whetlab’s technology can have a great impact by accelerating Twitter’s internal machine learning efforts,” Whetlab writes on its Web site.

Twitter isn’t the only tech giant with a growing interest in artificial intelligence.

Facebook recently opened a new AI research lab in Paris. Like its existing AI teams in Menlo Park, New York and London, the Paris hub is tackling long-term research projects in image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition and the kinds of physical and logical infrastructure required to run these systems.

Facebook chose Paris because France is recognized as a hotbed for AI research -- and the home nation of Yann LeCun, the head of Facebook AI Research (FAIR) since late 2013.

Google and Yahoo have also endeavored to harness deep learning to enhance their services. Futurist and AI expert Ray Kurzweil joined Google in 2013 after Larry Page convinced him to explore concepts in his book “How To Create A Mind.”

Per the deal, Whetlab plans to shutter its own closed beta by July 15.

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