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Reddit to acquire Spell, a machine learning platform

Artificial Intelligence

Reddit to acquire Spell, a machine learning platform

Reddit announced it would buy Spell, a platform for running machine learning (ML) experiments, for an undisclosed amount.

Spell, founded in 2016 by Serkan Piantino, a former Facebook engineer, provides cloud computing solutions to allow anyone to run resource-heavy ML experiments without the high-end hardware that would typically be necessary. The firm defines its mission as pursuing the best possible platform for anyone looking to develop robust, reliable, and safe software using AI and ML.

The social media platform Reddit currently uses ML for the Discover Tab and personalized recommendations. The firm also leverages the technology for its targeted advertising and safety work.

Spell will close access to new commercial customers amid the acquisition. Some of the firm’s team members will move over to Reddit. They will work on ML projects determining how Reddit defines contextual relevance, customizes ad placement, and keeps its communities safe.

Reddit said that the acquisition is aligned with its existing mission to ensure that any AI the firm works on is transparent and does not perpetuate bias. In a blog post, Spell’s leadership team called Reddit a “special place” and said that Spell would provide Reddit a platform to understand the content, users, and communities better.

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