Google has announced that it had acquired a visual recognition machine learning technology start-up, Moodstocks for an undisclosed amount. Incorporated in 2009, the French start-up originally introduced on-device image recognition in 2012, which enables smartphones to automatically recognize the content their camera detects.
With the recent acquisition, Google had made a substantial investment in the machine learning technologies since accurate object recognition is one of the difficult problems for machine learning.
For the past 3 years, the small team of researchers and engineers based in Google has taken advantage of deep learning to extend the reach of their object recognition algorithms, licensing machine-readable executable object code including the launch of a software development kit for OEMs to enable them to embed the code into their products.
The Moodstocks API, meanwhile, enable users to integrate visual search into their applications in addition to analyzing the images related to color, shape, and texture.
Google in their official French blog disclosed that Google Translate and Smart Reply Inbox already heavily depend on upon machine learning technologies. However, the integration of Moodstock API will enable them to visually recognize elements.
Commenting on the merger, Vincent Simonet, head of the R&D Center of Google France stated that Google has already entered into the visual recognition technology deeply and the partnership with Moodstocks will further enhance the product since they intend to integrate more features.
While the acquisition is expected to be finalized within the next few weeks, the group of engineers will join a Google research and development center in Paris to contribute to Google’s artificial intelligence efforts and will focus on the development of image recognition tools within Google.
Just after the announcement of the acquisition, the start-up has revealed that it will discontinue its image recognition services under the Moodstocks name.
We expect that both Google and start-up will work together to come up with a new set of tools under the Google brand. However, the existing license holders of Moodstocks will be able to make use of the software until the end of their current active subscription.