Inside Wasabi’s plans to "revolutionize” cloud storage with its ambitious Curio AI acquisition

Wasabi CEO David Friend
(Image credit: Wasabi)

Wasabi Technologies has announced the acquisition of Curio AI from GrayMeta in a move that CEO David Friend believes could revolutionize the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud storage industry. 

The acquisition will see Wasabi incorporate Curio AI technology within a new class of “AI-powered intelligent storage” for the firm’s media and entertainment segment, which it plans to release in Q2 2024.

As part of the deal, staff behind the Curio AI tool will also join Wasabi alongside GrayMeta CEO Aaron Edell, who joins the firm as its new senior vice president of AI and machine learning.

Curio AI is an intelligent data platform that uses AI to generate metadata for content stored in media libraries, simplifying search and retrieval processes for specific assets for editors or producers.

The tool is capable of detecting and transcribing speech in over 50 languages, and can identify media files based on people, places, events, logos, or even background audio.

Friend told ITPro the AI tool is equally powerful and simplistic in terms of enabling users to access stored materials or assets.

“The way this will work is it's really no more complicated than something like Google Photos, where it just grinds through your photos and if it sees a face that it doesn't recognize, it asks you who is this?

“You can put a name to it or not, but the user can train it themselves.”

Speaking to ITPro ahead of the announcement, Whit Jackson, VP for global M&E at Wasabi, said the firm has already integrated Curio AI capabilities within its storage offerings.

However, increased customer demand for more intelligent, AI-powered cloud storage capabilities over the last year appears to have been a key motivation behind the tie-up.

“We’d had a partnership with GreyMeta and their Curio AI technology for quite a while now,” he said. “As time has gone on we have had varied levels of interest in that.

“That interest really started to ramp up a lot more over the last year. This year at IBC we had the GreyMeta Curio team on the Wasabi stand providing a demonstration of a lot of football content, with people being able to watch from the stand and search for their favorite players and particular things.

“We went into some joint engagements with customers coming out of that event, and there was an opportunity there to tie up the companies a bit more and that's really what led to the acquisition.”

Jackson suggested the acquisition has wide-reaching implications for the future of cloud storage, not just at Wasabi but potentially across the industry. This was a statement echoed by Friend to ITPro ahead of the acquisition on Monday.

The integration of AI capabilities will position Wasabi’s storage offering as a powerful “intelligent data management” platform where customers can store and index content more efficiently and, crucially, streamline retrieval processes and remove what previously would’ve been an arduous, inefficient task identifying specific assets.

Wasabi acquisition could set an industry-wide standard 

Looking ahead, Friend said the acquisition could set a benchmark for competitors in the space, prompting a broader industry focus on the integration of AI capabilities within cloud object storage. 


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“I think in five or ten years, everyone who sells object storage is going to have to have AI capabilities built in,” Friend said. “I think once the market sees what we’ve done, I think everybody who markets cloud storage is going to want to do the same kind of thing.”

“My goal has always been to be a key innovator in the field, but I’m sure other people will come up with similar kinds of product offerings in the future. I think it’ll really revolutionize object storage. I think this is going to be a very important acquisition, not just for us, but for the industry.”

Bringing Edell and the Curio team on board as part of the deal will also support Wasabi’s long-term AI ambitions, Friend said, allowing the firm to draw upon the expertise of a team that otherwise would have taken years to build from the ground up.

“We brought over all of the development team for Curio. So we’ve got a good core of excellent AI scientists and engineers now. This would be very difficult for us to do in any other way hiring people one-on-one - it would take three or four years to build a product like this.”

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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