Payments platform Square has acquired Dessa, a Toronto-based company building machine learning applications that address significant real-world challenges for all types of businesses.
The Dessa team of engineers will immediately bolster Square’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Machine learning is a critical field in technology today, and Square has expanded machine learning work through both in-house development and acquisitions.
The acquisition of Dessa will help Square further boost its machine learning abilities, improve products, and ultimately pass on the benefits to customers.
For example, machine learning technology can help Square enhance products in areas like customer engagement, risk management, and more. The company plans to keep hiring top ML and AI talent moving forward to support both the Dessa team and other product teams at Square.
Why Did Square Acquire Dessa?
Dessa is a leader in a variety of machine learning technologies and is known for its work on deepfake detection.
While there are legitimate uses for deepfake technology, deepfake audio and video have become a growing security, risk management, and fraud threat across multiple industries and for businesses of all kinds.
To help with global deepfake detection efforts, Dessa recently open-sourced their detection technology to share their resources with engineers around the world and raise awareness about the misuse of deepfakes.
Given the rapid acceleration of the misuse of deepfake technology and improvements in quality, Square believes it’s both timely and smart to have a team with experience in this growing space.
The Dessa team will continue to work out of its office in Toronto, with no immediate changes to existing products, customers, or business operations.
Toronto is a global hub for machine learning research and development, and Square says it is excited to expand its presence in the city’s growing tech sector by further investing in Canadian engineering talent.
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