Interesting news, it appears Amazon have acquired image analysis startup Orbeus.

Orbeus develops photo-recognition technology based on a powerful type of AI called neural networks and makes this available as a consumer application, as well as a service for other companies and developers called ReKognition.  It automatically categorizes and identifies the contents of photos.  Orbeus’s app, PhotoTime, came out before Google launched its successful AI-based Photos app.

Amazon is investing heavily in AI to automate warehouse operations, improve delivery systems, and add new products to its Amazon Web Services cloud offering. It’s also an area of interest for Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who, like other tech moguls such as Elon Musk and Larry Page, is fascinated with the possibilities created by machines that think for themselves. Last month Bezos hosted a retreat for machine-learning and robotics experts in Palm Springs, California.

Orbeus’ ReKognition API was an early application / technology for Google Glass, and attracted a little bit of attention for the possibility of identifying people with it.

Other startups applying neural networks to image-recognition and related computer-vision tasks include New York-based Clarifai Inc. and Palo Alto-based MetaMind Inc.

Neural networks are one approach to visual search, complementary to the different approach using vector quantization taken by eyesFinder.