October 24, 2013
LookFlow Image Recognition Startup Joins Yahoo, Flickr
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Yahoo! has acquired image recognition startup LookFlow and now plans to incorporate the technology into its photo-sharing service Flickr. The small company, consisting of only five engineers, explains their work as “a powerful new way for people to find, explore, collect, and share all kinds of things they’re interested in.”
Yahoo! has now acquired more than 20 companies since Marissa Mayer took the helm last year in an attempt to improve the company's aging offerings and become relevant once more. While it’s not yet known in what capacity LookFlow will be working with Flickr, Yahoo! has acknowledged that the small team will be moving into its San Francisco offices.
“We built LookFlow as an entirely new way to explore images you love — combining delightful user experiences with the latest advances in machine learning,” reads an official announcement by LookFlow on its website. “Flickr is the largest collection of images we love. They share our passion for creating phenomenal experiences & technology to help you discover those images.”
LookFlow also says it will be helping Flickr create a deep learning group and are taking applications for people interested in this branch of computing.
According to VentureBeat, deep learning uses complex algorithms to essentially teach machines to pick up on cues and learn high-level concepts as well as low-level concepts. In other words, applications which can detect text, understand what the text says and make that text searchable are employing a kind of deep learning. Yahoo! hasn’t specifically said what LookFlow will be working on, but it seems the group could one day give users a fine-grained approach to search, including searching for pictures with certain words in them.
Yahoo! has been steadily improving its brand, including newly redesigned apps, improved features and generous offers to customers. Earlier this month Yahoo! unveiled its newly redesigned mail, complete with a unified look across multiple platforms, new themes, and one terabyte worth of storage free for every user. Mayer’s Yahoo! also announced one terabyte worth of free storage for every Flickr user this May when it unveiled the fresh redesign of Flickr.
Just moments after Mayer had officially announced the acquisition of popular blogging platform Tumblr, she unveiled the company’s plan to “make Flickr awesome again.”