Apple might consider buying Valossa for its video search AI

Pundits often throw out the names of companies they think Apple should buy. Let me toss another one into the ring: Valossa Labs Oy, a Finnish start-up that has developed Val.ai, an AI [artificial intelligence] framework capable of analyzing movies and videos in real-time to identify more than one thousand concepts (e.g. places, objects and themes) from any video stream. The technology could be used to improve Siri, Apple’s “personal digital assistant,” especially in regards to search on the Apple TV.

Designed for service and content providers, Val.ai can reach down into their video content, identify it and make it searchable in real-time - all automatically. Integrated with Alexa (a company that provides commercial web traffic data and analytics) example voice queries understood by Val.ai include:

  • Find movies with Sean Connery in red pants.
  • Show me science fiction movies about space battles and laser guns.
  • What movies has Clint Eastwood protecting the president?
  • List all movies that are comedies in Hawaii.
  • Non-violent princess movies.

It can even detect emotional sentiment in faces. Val.ai can also identify conditional and chained voice commands (a feat not currently possible with Apple Siri and other voice-powered search assistants). Examples of this are:

  • Query 1: Find me epic history movies.
  • Query 2: Only the ones with large battles.

You can try out the AI for yourself at www.whatismymovie.com.  Val.ai is based on years of research at the computer vision and AI labs of the University of Oulu. 

It’s cross-platform with Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux, Val.ai’s server-side technology purportedly enables virtually identical functionality to Apple’s tvOS for any system provider, plus more. Val.ai also integrates with all leading voice platform vendors, such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.