Pinterest engineering blog

  • Back to all posts
  • Jan 21, 2015
  • Share

The future of machine learning at Pinterest

Michael Lopp

Michael Lopp is head of engineering at Pinterest

One of the key ways we provide relevant and scalable solutions is through building distributed systems using machine learning. To accelerate our work in discovery and monetization, today we’re announcing the acquisition of Kosei, which includes some of the best minds in machine learning and data science.

Over the past year, Kosei has been building a unique technology stack that drives commerce by making highly personalized and powerful product recommendations, as well as creating a system that contains more than 400 million relationships between products. As we build a discovery engine for all objects, Kosei is a perfect fit for our team. Welcome, Kosei!

Looking ahead

Today, machine learning is used across Pinterest in areas such as:

  • The Black Ops team uses classification to detect spam content and users
  • The Discovery team (which includes search and recommendations) provides recommendations, related content, and predicts the likelihood that a person will Pin content
  • Our Visual Discovery team is working with cutting-edge deep learning algorithms to do object recognition and related object recommendations
  • The Monetization team does ad performance and relevance prediction
  • The Growth team has begun to move into the realm of using intelligence models to determine which emails to send and prevent churn
  • The Data team is building out a distributed system for machine learning using Spark, so the learning can be efficient and potentially real-time

As people use Pinterest to save and discover the things they want to do in the future, we have a unique and growing data set of more than 30 billion Pins that will only get more powerful over time. With the addition of the Kosei team, we can supercharge our existing graph to help brands reach people at the right moments, and improve content for Pinners.

If you’re interested in tackling machine learning challenges, join us!

Michael Lopp is head of engineering at Pinterest

For Pinterest engineering news and updates, follow our engineering Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Interested in joining the team? Check out our Careers site.

Latest Article

Oct 21, 2016

Not long ago, some friends and I were having lunch and talking about the upcoming election. As is the case with discussions centered around weather or politics, it ended the way they usually end: with all of us shrugging and saying "well, beyond remembering to vote, what can any of us do?"


Jun 6, 2013

Welcome to our new engineering blog, where we’ll share stories from Pinterest’s technical teams–the people who build, operate and evolve our service, connecting millions of people to billions of pins. There’s so much more to build at Pinterest, and we’re excited to share our stories along the way.


Feb 18, 2015

As thousands of people gather in the Bay Area this week for Strata + Hadoop World, we wanted to share how data-driven decision making is in our company DNA.