Google Bags Artificially Intelligent Startup Jetpac
Google has been acquiring startups which have unique ideologies behind them for quite some time. Earlier this month, it has been reported to have made deals with smart-messaging app Emu, and video creator app Directr Inc.
The latest fish in their net however, is photo-analysis startup Jetpac, creator of a smartphone app that applying artificial intelligence extracts specific items out of publicly available Instagram photos to generate city guides.
JetPac was founded by Pete Warden (chief technology officer) and Julian Green (chief executive officer), and has raised $2.4 million from venture capital firms, like Khosla Ventures, Morado Venture Partners, and Jerry Yang. This Saturday, Warden directed people to a new company homepage that announced the news:
We look forward to working on exciting projects with our colleagues at Google.
We’ll be removing Jetpac’s apps from the App Store in the coming days, and ending support for them on 9/15.
Though this news has upset iOS users considerably, it has excited users of Google products equally. After all, Warden and Green with their team had brilliantly converted computer vision – a complex branch of artificial intelligence – into an easy and simple app for the users.
Google holds expertise in deep learning, a branch of machine learning based on learning representations of data. However, it still requires more digging into this field of image recognition with greater innovation and talent to compete with companies like Microsoft, Baidu, Facebook and Pinterest, which are already ahead in working on this area.
Deep learning involves training of systems called artificial neural networks on massive amounts of information derived from audio, images, and other inputs, and presenting the systems with new information to receive deductions about it as a result.
Jetpac’s source of images was Instagram, where public photos were analyzed to determine local places from where the best coffee was available to “bars women visit.”
“We can spot lipstick, blue sky views, hipster mustaches and more, through advanced image processing on billions of photos.
Jetpac City Guides is a visual guide to local recommendations for over 6,000 cities all around the world, from San Francisco to Kathmandu.” – the homepage of Jetpac City Guides boasted.
The Jetpac app has been very creative since the beginning, where in its earlier stages it let people delve into any travel pictures their Facebook friends uploaded, so they could decide which place they wanted to visit.
More recently, Jetpac had developed an intelligent mechanism for spotting smiles of people in pictures to evaluate how happy the people were and allowed users to find the “happiest city” based on these results.
The giant Google, collaborating with these talented developers, is bound to bring us something extraordinary – something intelligent – and we can only wait to watch which company surprises us the most.