Amazon has acquired PhotoTime creator Orbeus, an artificial intelligence startup that specializes in photo-recognition technology. The acquisition took place in the fall of 2015, according to sources familiar with the matter. This would be the latest in a string of acquisitions in the area of deep learning, with deals already completed for high-performance computing company Nice and video processing company Elemental Technologies.
Orbeus developed photo-recognition technology based on a powerful type of AI called neural networks. It automatically identifies people and objects in photos and videos. Orbeus released this as a consumer application, called PhotoTime, which came out before Google launched its own AI-based Photos app. It also provided a service for other companies and developers, called ReKognition.
The growing demand for intelligent systems is creating huge opportunities for growth in the area of image recognition. For example, this allows shoppers to search for products by simply taking a photo of it. The photo is uploaded to an app that searches an inventory of products with the help of image recognition technology. It is easy to see how an online retailer, like Amazon, could benefit from this technology. A recent report had predicted that the market value for image recognition would reach $29.98 billion by 2020.
Amazon is said to be using artificial intelligence to improve its delivery systems and automate its warehouse operations. The major factor driving the growth of AI is its diversified application areas, according to one Artificial Intelligence Market report. A similar report says the market is poised to grow 44.3% by 2025.
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