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Twitter Join the AI Arms Race with Whetlab

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In the wake of Facebook's recent acquisition of an AI start-up in Paris, Twitter have now thrown their hat into the ring by buying up Whetlab. It's a tiny, 5 person initiative, but it has a lot of potential and has generated a lot of interest. Their guiding claim seems to be that whilst numerous tech giants are buying up AI revenue left, right and center, the level of genuine understanding demonstrated across the various different start-ups is relatively limited. Whetlab, with their compliment of PHD holders, boast a far stronger grasp on the technology.

The other thing they are offering is technology that's already been developed and can be put into practice with relative ease, but what exactly do Twitter even want with it? Presumably it will factor into their Project Lightning venture, as well as just making it easier for relevant content to find its way to users with minimum effort on their part. Tailored service is an instrumental part of social media now and AI makes it far easier to optimize it, since you don't have to hire anyone with troublesome needs like eating and sleeping.
This isn't the first AI platform that Twitter have snapped up. They took over the deep-learning start-up Madbits last year as means of improving it's image-based component. It's difficult to say exactly how well that's worked out for them, but it clearly hasn't soured the appeal of AI integration any. 

“We have created a technology to make machine learning better and faster for companies, automatically,” Whetlab say. “Twitter is the platform for open communication on the internet and we believe that Whetlab’s technology can have a great impact by accelerating Twitter’s internal machine learning efforts.”

Whilst a lot of recent evidence did seem to suggest that Twitter were downsizing and perhaps even integrating into one of the larger tech conglomerates like Google, this move places them squarely back into that weight class. 



Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Twitter Join the AI Arms Race with Whetlab Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, June 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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