Web Search mogul Google has added another startup to its kitty in its quest to gain mastery over the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Google wants to reign supreme in the artificial intelligence (AI) field too, as it is in the web search domain.
Belarusian startup AIMaker, the company that has developed Fappy, a computer vision application, has recently been acquired by Google. This acquisition comes at a time when artificial intelligence (AI) is being touted as being the solver of many of the world's current problems.
What is computer vision?
Computer vision is a branch of artificial intelligence that allows computers to see, understand and process images and pictures just the way humans do, using their eyes and brain. Computer vision does this processing even better than humans.
The usage of this image processing to run different kinds of programs is what lies at the heart of the next generation technology being developed.
AIMaker has developed its own in-house neural networks based program on artificial intelligence as well as an SDK (software development kit) that can instantly detect and process images on mobile handheld devices.
The application, Fabby, is what allows the users to tweak and edit images as well as videos using this neural networks platform. It serves as the proof of concept of the said technology.
Talks between Google and AIMaker regarding the acquisition deal were in the news as early as May of this year, though the deal just being made official. The detailed terms of the deal have not been announced as of yet.
Speculations are rife that Fabby, which has over two million downloads, will continue to be operative in its own standalone basis and all of AIMaker’s employees will now move under Google's banner.
AIMaker has people working out of Minsk, the Bay area as well as Zurich (Switzerland). Switzerland being one of the strongholds in the computer vision ecosystem does however make us question if the employees will stay at their present locations and work for Google or be relocated.
What is also not made public is if Google has future plans to utilize AIMaker's employees in the development process of the different projects that are already underway at Google.
Early Funding & Investors
AIMaker had raised approximately two million USD in funding from a wide range of investors which includes the venture capital firm Haxus capital (a fund that primarily invests in startups working in the artificial intelligence sphere).
Yuri Melnichek, co-founder and chairman AIMaker, who has since quite some time distanced himself from the day to day running of operations and now has the tag of advisor, is also one of the investors including Andrei Kulik their current CEO.
Experts are of the view that Google is in plans to develop its own filters platform, similar to that of Snapchat’s that utilizes camera filters to warp real time images.
This acquisition does however solidify Google's game of being an extremely strong contender in the world of social media and networking.