AI startup Magic Pony obtained by Twitter for $150m, according to report

To enhance its live and video offerings, Twitter obtained the AI startup Magic Pony for a reported $150m (£102m).
Magic Pony said that, it is excited to be joining forces with Twitter “to improve the visual experiences that are delivered across their apps”.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive explained that Magic Pony’s technology would be used to enhance live and video offerings and “opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities for Twitter”.
In a demonstration, Magic Pony showed a system that could “restore” a realistic face from the pixelated visage of the main character of Doom, and the other one that could automatically generate a brick-and-plaster wall from a small image.
This technology can be used by Twitter into its app to improve the quality of streamed video or use it as a form of ersatz image compression.
The investors of Magic Pony have highlighted the acquisition as further evidence of the UK’s lead in AI. Luke Hakes of Octopus Ventures said, “The UK continues to grow as the ‘go-to’ place for companies looking to build best in breed AI technology.” Balderton Capital’s Suranga Chandratillake said, “We are delighted that an iconic west coast company has once again recognised that Europe is right at the forefront of the AI revolution.”
London-based DeepMind was the one to spark an AI boom when it was acquired by Google in January 2014 for more than $500m. They have since built the first software capable of beating a professional human player at the ancient Asian board game Go, a victory long considered impossible by AI experts.

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