Google snaps up AI image processing firm AIMatter
Source: Charlie Osborne
Google has acquired AIMatter, the producer of the AI-driven selfie app Fabby.
Belarus-based AIMatter confirmed the news in a short and sweet notice posted on the firm's website on Wednesday, but as reported by TechCrunch, the deal has been rumored since May.
AIMatter is the startup behind Fabby, a mobile application which uses artificial intelligence to boost self-taken photos with a range of creative effects, such as tone adjustment, colors, masks, backgrounds, and makeup designs.
The app has been downloaded over two million times among iOS users, while the Android version -- launched in March -- has snagged between 100,000 and 500,000 user downloads.
Financial details were not disclosed.
The companies also confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch. According to the publication, the Fabby app will still be available for download, but the majority of AIMatter staff will be joining Google's teams.
Google's push into artificial intelligence is well-documented, from the use of AI to improve searches and listings to tailored advert generation and projects including TensorFlow and Tensor2Tensor.
Where Fabby's company and the team of skilled programmers behind it come in, however, may not be in the iOS and Android app itself, but rather the neural network-based platform, software development kit (SDK), and artificial intelligence behind the image processing.
However, with social media platforms jumping on the selfie effect bandwagon -- such as Snapchat -- it may also simply be that Google wants a slice of the action, too.
It will be interesting to see whether in the coming months an enhanced version of Fabby will come into play, the technology will end up in Android camera software, or whether the AIMatter team will be focusing their efforts on Google AI platform development and machine learning research instead.