Twitter is investing in machine learning with the $150 million acquisition of Magic Pony Technology, a London-based firm that developed machine learning techniques for visual processing.

Calling machine learning "the core of everything we build at Twitter,” CEO Jack Dorsey blogged that the buy builds on other investments his company has made: an acquisition of Madbits in July 2014 and Whetlab in June 2015. 

Machine learning makes it easier for Twitter users to create, share and discover "so that every time you open Twitter you’re immersed in the most relevant news, stories, and events for you," he said.

Magic Pony’s team will join Twitter Cortex, a team of engineers, data scientists and machine learning researchers “dedicated to building a product in which people can easily find new experiences to share and participate in.”

Twitter has 310 monthly active users and 3,800 employees.

Magic Pony’s technology features algorithms that can understand the features of imagery, Dorsey said. It will be incorporated into Twitter’s video. The team includes 11 PhDs with expertise across computer vision, machine learning, high-performance computing and computational neuroscience.

“We are continuing to build strength into our deep learning teams with world-class talent to help Twitter be the best place to see what’s happening and why it matters, first,” Dorsey wrote. “We value deep learning research to help make our world better, and we will keep doing our part to share our work and learnings with the community.”

In other technology software news ...

Pyze Adds Loyalty, Attrition Features

Redwood City, Calif.-based Pyze is adding user loyalty and attrition features to its platform. Pyze's Growth Intelligence platform aims to use machine learning to solve the problem of growing and retaining users.

The platform's new features, Attrition Risk and Loyalty, will let marketers find patterns and relationships in their apps so that they can increase loyalty and reduce attrition.

Without data, app publishers essentially play a guessing as to why an app is or isn't "sticking." These releases are meant to give marketers a tool to target certain features or send certain messages based on loyalty and attrition rates.

Pyze also announced its Engagement, Retention and Resurrection feature for its Growth Automation solution. It claims this capability will reduce user churn and abandonment by targeting and engaging users with higher risk of attrition. This works in conjunction with the Intelligence Explorer to automate user engagement based on behavior and history.

Dickey Singh, co-founder and CEO of Pyze, said in a statement that the new capabilities will provide deeper exploration across the entire user base, and also enable customers to re-engage attrition-risk users and retain loyal users in the free ‘game changer’ tier." 

Visual Analytics Company Acquires IIoT Provider

San Mateo, Calif.-based Space‐Time Insight, Inc., which provides real-time visual analytics solutions, announced the acquisition of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) company GOFACTORY

Users will have access to the GOFACTORY cloud service to capture and analyze data from connected assets, systems and people in real time. GOFACTORY was named to Gartner's 2015 Cool Vendors List for Mobile and IoT Security.

In the last year, Space-Time Insight has grown revenues by 70 percent and now works with more than 30 organizations from asset-intensive industries, including FedEx, Florida Power & Light, NEC and Thames Water, the company said.

Rob Schilling, CEO of Space-Time Insight, said in a statement that the company is focused on building IIoT-ready advanced analytics and visualization solutions. "The acquisition of GOFACTORY continues our commitment to helping organizations capture, analyze and use data to understand the what, where, when, why and how of every situation," he said.

Learning Opportunities

SAP Signs White House Tech Inclusion Pledge

SAP is participating in the inaugural White House Tech Inclusion Pledge, which aims to fuel American innovation and economic growth by increasing the diversity of the United States technology workforce. 

SAP’s commitment came as part of President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Innovation Summit 2016 this week. 

“We embrace the unique magic of every single individual at SAP,” Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement. 

“It’s no longer about our differences as ‘accepted.’ This misses the point completely. It’s the differences that define our world view. It’s the differences that create the fabric of our culture. We’re a company that believes in trust, love and the unqualified right of every person to be exactly who they are and live exactly how they choose.”

By signing the pledge, SAP commits to build upon existing company goals to create and sustain an inclusive culture, publish related data and progress metrics on the diversity of its workforce and invest in partnerships to build a diverse pipeline of technology talent.

BriteVerify Integrates with SendGrid

Email verification company BriteVerify announced an integration with SendGrid, the email delivery platform, to push email cleanup and increase overall speed.

Based in Charlotte, N.C., BriteVerify said the integration will improve users' email list hygiene. Users select an email list to clean and are shown risky accounts and addresses that have been inactive. According to BriteVerify, this integration will be most helpful for organizations managing large lists of more than 1 million email addresses.

Mobile Workforce Scheduling Firm Targets CX

San Francisco-based Skedulo, which provides mobile workforce scheduling and management, announced a new set of APIs and technology.

Called Skedulo Lens, it introduces on-demand scheduling to field services, allowing businesses of all sizes to empower users or customers through self-service scheduling, as well as work order progress tracking.

“With today’s technology, you can order a car via your mobile device and know exactly who is driving and when they will arrive,” Skedulo CEO and co-founder Matt Fairhurst said in a statement. 

“Customers expect the same experience when they schedule a service call. Companies spend countless dollars acquiring customers but they quickly diminish their customer relationships through poor post-sale experiences. The world’s leading, global brands are successful because they think about their customers first and empower them with transparency, giving them a voice.”

Title image "Twitter" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by chriscorneschi

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