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Snap Confirms Acquisition of Deepfakes Startup AI Factory, Used to Power ‘Cameos’ Selfie Videos

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

January 3, 2020 11:39AM PT Snap has acquired AI Factory, a startup developing image and video recognition, analysis and processing technology, the company confirmed. Snap is using AI Factory’s tech to power Snapchat’s recently launched Cameos feature, in which users can insert a selfie of themselves, deepfakes-style, into a scene and and send the short, looping videos to friends via chat. With Cameos, which launched in mid-December, Snapchatters can make themselves into (among other things) a flying hotdog, a singing bird with a chef’s hat, a talking cat, or a dancing roast chicken. Snap paid $166 million for AI Factory, according to Ukranian tech publication AIN.ua, which first reported on the deal. A Snap spokesman declined to comment on the terms of the pact. AI Factory listed its headquarters in San Francisco with offices in the Ukraine. AI Factory was founded by CEO Victor Shaburov, who previously founded facial-recognition startup Looksery — which Snapchat acquired in 2015. Snap used the Looksery technology to power its animated-selfie Lenses launched that year; Shaburov served as Snap’s director of engineering for three years following that deal, before departing in 2018 to form AI Factory. The Cameos feature is located in Snapchat’s Chat menu, right beside Stickers, and began rolling out on iOS and Android apps last month. The initial feature includes some 150 Cameos and can let two Snapchat users co-star in a Cameo scene together. Other Snap acquisitions have included its 2016 deal for Bitstrips for $100 million, bringing it the Bitmoji cartoon-avatar app; and Zenly, a French social mapping startup, in 2017, which formed the basis of Snap Map. Angela Yee, host of Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club,” has become one of the media’s best-known multi-hyphenates. A businesswoman who founded her own “Lip Service” podcast, Yee spent much of the fall of 2019 on the road, teaming up with Live Nation for “Lip Service Live.” The tour featured guests in every major city who […] Snap has acquired AI Factory, a startup developing image and video recognition, analysis and processing technology, the company confirmed. Snap is using AI Factory’s tech to power Snapchat’s recently launched Cameos feature, in which users can insert a selfie of themselves, deepfakes-style, into a scene and and send the short, looping videos to friends via […] 2019 was kind to GAFA. The four big tech companies entered 2020 with their combined market cap valued by the markets as worth $3.4 trillion, an increase of 31% (or $811 billion) on 2019’s first day of trading. The media sector began 2020 with a combined valuation of $1.5 trillion, 28% greater than 2019’s level […] Starting Jan. 1, YouTube started treating content aimed at children differently from everything else uploaded to the world’s biggest video site. The changes are supposed to make YouTube a safer place for kids. The big problem is, nobody is sure what “child-directed content” means exactly, and producers and creators are worried they could be socked […] In this week’s International TV Newswire, Variety looks
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Hands-on with the Hyper GaN Stackable USB-C charger [Video]

Last year Hyper launched the world’s smallest 100W USB-C charger thanks to its implementation of GaN technology. Now the company is back with an even more compact and functional way to power up your devices with the HyperJuice GaN Stackable Charger. Follow along for a hands-on look as well as how to get 50% off…

Elon Musk and SpaceX launch Starlink satellite broadband amid pandemic

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