Google acquires AI startup
Web titan snaps up UK’s DeepMind for £400m
Google Inc has bought up a company that specialises in technology that mimics the fuzzy nature of human thought, The Guardian reported yesterday.
At $650m, the acquisition of London-based DeepMind is Google’s largest ever European purchase. The core technologies that DeepMind develops have been described as “machine learning, advanced algorithms and systems neuroscience”. The company has already demonstrated systems capable of playing computer games, but Google is most likely interested in the technology’s application in the big data arena..
DeepMind was established two years ago by child chess prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, with partners Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. Facebook reportedly made an unsuccessful play for the company in 2012. According to tech news site The Information, Google, as part of the purchase agreement, will set up an ethics board to oversee the development and use of the AI property.
The DeepMind deal follows closely on the heels of Google’s purchase of Nest, which makes intelligent thermostats and fire alarms. The company also snapped up a number of robotics firms last year, including Boston Dynamics, which holds US military contracts.