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article imagePhoto filtering app Prisma pivots towards B2B AI technologies

By James Walker     Aug 21, 2017 in Technology
The firm behind photo filtering app Prisma has announced it's shifting its focus away from consumer apps. While Prisma won't be going away, the company plans to develop a new B2B portfolio where it will license its existing machine learning tech.
Prisma has risen to fame as one of the most successful AI-powered photo filtering apps. The company has developed its own computer vision technology to power the fun filters and effects that have made its app a well-known name.
Across the technology industry, computer vision and machine learning is one of the fastest growing fields. Prisma isn't oblivious to this but until now it hasn't been seen as one of the innovative companies. Today, it's attempting to change that by announcing a set of off-the-shelf AI tools for other firms to use.
Speaking with The Verge, Prisma CEO and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov said he sees "big opportunities" in the wider deep learning space. Acknowledging that there's a high demand for computer vision tech, Moiseenkov said Prisma will license its technology to help other companies get their apps established. Rather than developing their own machine vision algorithms, they'll be able to incorporate Prisma's existing solution.
Prisma's not the only company to have thought of this strategy. It will be competing with the likes of Google, Microsoft and Facebook, tech titans with far more resources than the Russian photo filtering pioneer. Prisma acknowledged the competition but expressed a belief it can provide compelling reasons to bet on its platform.
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The company will sell its service to developers building consumer-facing iOS and Android apps. It will point to its own success as a reason to sign up. Moiseenkov said Prisma is well-placed to sell computer vision as a service "because we understand how to implement the technology." Crucially, the company has succeeded in getting AI to run locally on smartphones, something larger tech firms are still struggling with.
Prisma's technology will be offered through its new Prisma Labs website. It currently offers computer vision models that offer scene recognition, object detection and facial landmarking features. The service is claimed to be faster than competing platforms including Google Tensorflow and Torch.
The announcement signals Prisma is no longer content to sit in the consumer space, building on platforms offered by larger tech firms. Although it will continue to support its own app, the company's clearly eyeing an opportunity to be at the forefront of the next big thing in tech. It'll create AI app technology instead of apps themselves, offering an independent alternative to the sprawling machine learning platforms of its rivals.
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