Twitter buys Magic Pony for $150 million

Twitter buys Magic Pony for $150 million

Artificial Intelligence can now be used to sharpen pixelated images and video

Twitter buys Magic Pony for $150 million


Twitter has bought Magic Pony, the creators of an AI image enhancing tool, for $150 million, giving them access to a new technology that can enhance images and video to higher resolution versions using relatively modest amounts of computing power.  

This technology should allow images and video to be sent to PCs with high image quality while using lower amounts of bandwidth, or enhance the quality of existing streamed images and video while using little to no more bandwidth. 

Magic Pony is a UK-based start-up that was created by graduates of Imperial College London, has utilized machine learning techniques in order to process visual information, allowing them to process and improve images and videos in real time.  

The company has created a way to create high-resolution images from low-resolution ones, allowing them to improve the quality of video on the fly using ordinary graphics processors, allowing even mobile phones to enhance the image quality of videos and pictures. 

One way to use this new technology is to apply it to a streamed video, which is often heavily compressed in order to stream it to your PC over the internet and use GPUs to enhance the quality and clarity of the final image, especially when looking at text. 

Below is a quote from Rob Bishop, stating that this technology can currently be used with fast mobile GPUs, meaning that we may see some form of this technology applied to current video streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch in the future, as it can work with modern mobile hardware. 


Online video-streaming businesses rely heavily on video compression,

Our first product demonstrates that image quality can be greatly enhanced using deep learning, and fast mobile GPUs now allow us to deploy it anywhere.



Artificial Intelligence can now be used to sharpen pixelated images and video

The technology works because they Magic Pony have designed a computer that is fed an image, converts it into a low-resolution version and  then compares the differences between it and the original image. This machine then uses the information collected over thousands of images to learn patterns that will allow it to enhance other pixelated images.  

Above and below are images that have been enhanced using this technology, with the below image from a video stream showcasing a huge gain in visual quality, especially when looking at text and numbers onscreen. 

Right now the company states that they are in talks with several interested parties that wish to license this technology, though it is worth noting that this tech can be applied to a lot more than streaming online video. 


Twitter buys Magic Pony for $150 million

(Original Compressed Video (Left), Enhanced Video (Right)) 


One example that the company gave was that this technology could be used to dynamically create high-resolution textures for games and VR experiences using lower resolution examples or simply to generate miles of unique terrain textures using previously used examples. 

This technology could also be used to clean up the images taken from low-quality cameras or taken in low light environments, making this technology appealing to a large number of industries.  


You can join the discussion on Twitter purchasing Magic Poney for $150 million on the OC3D Forums.  


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Most Recent Comments

21-06-2016, 15:08:58

I'd like to see this tested by someone else than the people who build it.Quote

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