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Google buys French image recognition company in ongoing AI arms race

Welcome to the Borg, Moodstocks.

WEC 2016 - 24 Hours of Le Mans Dean Treml / Red Bull via Getty Images

Moodstocks, a Parisian startup that develops image recognition tools for smartphones, is joining Google. The companies announced the acquisition today, sans financials.

Around since 2008, Moodstocks hasn’t had considerable traction. (It’s not clear if they’ve raised much either.) But the company has tech and engineers working on machine learning, something Google cannot get enough of as it competes with rivals like Apple and Facebook for talent.

And Moodstocks’ core service — “to give eyes to machines by turning cameras into smart sensors,” as its parting note described — fits with Google’s vision for image search and augmented reality, where a phone (or something else) knows your physical surroundings. Also, the acquisition price may have been low thanks to wobbling global markets.

While Google has AI expertise aplenty, it is always looking for more. There’s room for improvement. Google shared the news on its France blog, which translated its text to English thusly: “So we agreed to Moodstocks acquire.”

This article originally appeared on

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