GOOGLE HAS been spending again. This time, parent company Alphabet has acquired AIMatter, makers of iOS and Android app 'Fabby'.
Fabby uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn selfies into works of art. The good news for fans is that the apps seem to be staying exactly where they are.
The results of Fabby are quite comparable to running a photo through a DeepMind dream, though perhaps not so nightmarish.
The purchase is to enhance Google's "computer Vision" offering, that is to say, the bit of AI e which allows machines to "see" and process that visual stimulus.
Fabby had already raised funding to the tune of $2m and has offices in Belarus, Silicon Valley and Switzerland. Jobs at those locations will now be Googler jobs and the software development kit (SDK) and neural network will become Googles.
It's the talent and the tech that are the real prize here. Fabby, despite its millions of downloads, is only really meant to be proof of concept. It allows Google access to technology in picture recognition that's already a long way down the road.
Google's AI is already pretty advanced, you only have to look at its win against the top minds at Go, or the Streams app rolling out in the NHS to see that, and at a more pedestrian level, Google Assistant.
But with Microsoft demonstrating the sheer power of AI with your data this week, after a third party won the right to mine LinkedIn profiles for trends and predicted candidate behaviour, we're just seeing the beginning of what the tech can do.
Tensorflow (Google's AI engine) could be enhanced with both the computer vision and existing software development kit which would give developers even more options for incorporating artificial intelligence into their projects.
AIMatter's website claims that it is three times faster than either Tensorflow or Caffe.
No financial terms for the deal were released. µ
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