Twitter buys AI startup Magic Pony for $150 million


Twitter has bought Magic Pony, a London based startup that specialises in artificial intelligence.

The acquisition is reported to have cost Twitter in the region of $150 million.

Founded by Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, Magic Pony uses machine learning to create super high quality video from grainy or poor quality footage.

It is expected that this technology will be integrated into Twitter’s live video streams as well as on its other video service, Vine and Periscope.

The acquisition is the latest investment Twitter has made in machine learning.

“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” said Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey in a blog post on Monday.

“Magic Pony’s technology – based on algorithms that can understand the features of imagery – will be used to enhance our strength in live and video.”

According to Dorsey, Magic Pony will remain in the UK and will form the basis of Twitter’s European arm of its research into artificial intelligence.

“Together with Twitter, we’re looking forward to vastly accelerating our rate of research; growing our team, which will serve as the European homebase for Twitter’s machine learning efforts; and continuing to publish,” Magic Pony said in a statement.

Magic Pony was established just under two years ago by a group of graduates from Imperial College London who are experts in neuroscience, statistics and computer vision and is capable of transforming low-res videos and images into high quality video clips.


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