Google acquires Twitter-backed AI avatar startup Alter for $100 million 

Google quietly acquired Alter, a Twitter-backed AI avatar startup formerly named Facemoji, earlier this year for $100 million, TechCrunch reported Thursday. 

The Alter acquisition was finalized two months ago, an unidentified source told TechCrunch.

Google confirmed the acquisition Thursday night but did not provide details on the exact date of the acquisition and the purchase price.

Alter COO Jon Slimak has updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect a new role at Google Avatars. At the time of publication, Alter's website remains down.

In recent years, Google has invested heavily in its AI technology. From language learning models to image generators, the company is putting AI at the center of its product suite

For example, with Search, Google uses AI not only to help people filter out bad results, but also to help those in personal crises. 

With its hardware, like the recently released Pixel 7Google integrates AI processing cores into the phone's processor to better help process photos or translate speech

While Google's social media aspirations collapsed in 2018it's finding new momentum with YouTube Shorts, the company's short video platform meant to compete with TikTok. 

It's possible Google Avatars will integrate with Shorts in the future.  

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