Google buys French startup Moodstocks to boost machine learning muscle

Moodstocks is expected to join Google's five-year-old research and development center in Paris, known for its work on YouTube and Chrome.

Google announced today it has acquired machine learning startup Moodstocks in an effort to bolster its work around smartphone image and item recognition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Moodstocks began developing image recognition technology in 2012 and more recently shifted into object recognition technology. The Paris-based startup said on its website that its "dream has been to give eyes to machines by turning cameras into smart sensors able to make sense of their surroundings."

In a blog post, Vincent Simonet, head of Google's France research and development center, highlighted the importance of Moodstock's algorithms for visual recognition and machine learning. Google uses machine learning for a bevy of programs, including Smart Reply and Google Translate, but Simonet said that "there is still much to do in this area."

Moodstocks is expected to join Google's five-year-old research and development center in Paris, known for its work on YouTube, Chrome, and Cultural Institute, in addition to machine learning.

Google has already made significant advances in computer vision technology via Project Tango, but the internet giant frequently looks to startups (often times in Europe) to complement its portfolio, including its 2013 acquisition of London-based DeepMind.

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