Twitter acquires machine learning startup Whetlab

Whetlab's beta service will shut down July 15, and the company will focus on powering Twitter's internal machine learning efforts

Twitter's headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco

Twitter's headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco

To boost its in-house machine learning efforts, Twitter has acquired Whetlab, a startup that makes it easier for companies to use machine learning tools.

As part of the acquisition, announced Wednesday, Twitter will shut down Whetlab's beta service on July 15, and will no longer accept sign-ups for the product. Current users will be able to export their data from Whetlabs's website in either tab-separated format or JSON.

It's not exactly clear how Twitter plans to use Whetlab's technology to enhance its existing machine learning plans. However, the startup's tool seems useful for any company implementing machine learning techniques. The technology, which was developed by researchers at Harvard, Toronto and Sherbrooke universities, takes in information about the problem a user wants to solve with machine learning. It then gives the user a series of suggestions to help them optimize a machine learning model to solve the problem.

Users don't have to send Whetlab their data, nor do they need to use a special machine learning toolkit, according to the company's product page. "You can run your code on your own private machines at whatever scale you want. What we do is help you use those resources optimally by telling you what you should try next," the page reads.

The acquisition makes sense for Twitter, which is trying to offer users more customized experiences to improve adoption of its microblogging service. Machine learning is likely critical to those initiatives, and acquiring technology that makes the application of machine learning technology easier could benefit Twitter's in-house development process.

The deal comes at a tumultuous time for the company, which announced last week that CEO Dick Costolo would be stepping down on July 1.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuestwitterMergers and acquisitions

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?