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Google Buys Riya… Maybe

Niall Kennedy reports that, according to sources in the company, Google has bought Riya, a company that makes facial recognition technology. Of course, Niall puts a question mark in his post title, so he seems to be contradicting himself. Let us examine:

Google purchasing Riya?

Photo service Riya has been acquired by Google for close to $40 million according to sources involved with the company. Riya uses face recognition technology to identify people in photos. The system can also recognize text such as street signs. Google likes using algorithms to solve complex problems, so the acquisition seems like a good fit. Om Malik has done some additional digging on the deal’s details.

The article seems to say that the deal has already happened, with certainty, but the title says “I’m not sure, its unconfirmed”. Given that Om, who reported this first (and I linked to in my links earlier), links to Niall’s post and says, ” Niall thinks the price is going to be $40 million,” methinks Niall needs to think a little more carefully how he words posts that are likely to be scrutinized for detail.

Elinor Mills is unconvinced, at least in any sort of concrete way. Steve Rubel is convinced. Shel Israel shows up to explain that, no, nothing has happened yet.

Maybe this is one of those cases where mainstream media’s practice of waiting for confirmation before reporting anything as being beyond rumor is exactly the proper way to report a story. Maybe? Definitely.

November 18th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | 4 comments

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  1. I am a consultant to Riya. I have been talking with the CEO much of today. They have NOT been purchased by Google or anyone else.

    Comment by shel Israel | November 18, 2005

  2. See, at least Shel knows what he’s talking about.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | November 18, 2005

  3. While I’m being a bit hypocritical here, the whole scoop thing does seem to be getting a bit silly. It’s kinda fun to GUESS who may buy whom, but the rumors of what is happening / happened are gettin’ a bit boring, IMHO.

    Comment by Adam | November 18, 2005

  4. […] This was also kind of interesting - "Google Photo", especially considering all the buzz around the sale (potential sale) of Riya.  Tara Hunt recently left Toronto to join them and head up their marketing, regardless of the sale or not talk about timing…good for you girl. […]

    Pingback by IMEX by AIMS Canada (beta) » Blog Archive » Google 2006 - What next? | December 2, 2005

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