Google announced today it has acquired Paris-based machine learning startup Moodstocks to work on smartphone image and item recognition. Moodstocks says on its website that the deal should close in the next few weeks. Terms were not disclosed.
Vincent Simonet, head of Google’s France research and development center, wrote in a blog post that many Google programs, such as Smart Reply and Google Translate, use machine learning. But there is still more work to be done in that area.
Moodstocks introduced image recognition in 2012, and it has spent the last two-and-a-half years extending that technology to object recognition.
“Our dream has been to give eyes to machines by turning cameras into smart sensors able to make sense of their surroundings,” according to Moodstocks’ website.
Moodstocks’ team will join Google’s Paris research and development center. Simonet wrote that France is bursting with engineering talent and Google will continue to bolster its research there. Google’s Paris research and development center opened in 2011, and the team there works on YouTube, Chrome and Cultural Institute, in addition to machine learning.
Amazon has also invested in image recognition through its Firefly program that lets users scan products, translate text and identify music, movies, and TV shows.