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Google buys artificial intelligence outfit Deepmind

Might have dropped $400m on London based outfit
Mon Jan 27 2014, 12:37
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INTERNET GIANT Google reportedly has spent $400m to buy a London based artificial intelligence company called Deepmind.

Neither firm has responded to our requests for more information, but according to the Recode website it is a done deal that gives Google access to some hard hitters in the artificial intelligence (AI) business.

At the heart of the business, and highlighted on its About pages is game designer Demis Hassabis, who worked with Peter Molyneux on Theme Park when he wasn't long out of short trousers.

In a statement Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, confirmed the deal, and his excitement about it.

"We're really excited to be joining Google. This partnership will allow us to turbo-charge our mission to harness the power of machine learning tools to tackle some of society's toughest problems, and help make our everyday lives more productive and enjoyable," he said.

"We've built a world-leading team here in the UK and we're looking forward to accelerating the impact of our technology with Google."

Late last year Google invested heavily in Boston Dynamics, a military robotics outfit, and we look forward to welcoming our Google robot overlords whenever they appear.

Information available on the Deepmind website is light, but suggests it's a growing company. There is an appeal for talented engineers, and a quick look at Linkedin suggests that there is a decent if compact group of people there already.

"DeepMind is a cutting edge artificial intelligence company. We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms. The company is based in London and supported by some of the most iconic technology entrepreneurs and investors of the past decade," offers the firm by way of introduction. "Our first commercial applications are in simulations, e-commerce and games."

Earlier this month Google spent $3.2bn on a firm called Nest that performs unglamourous tasks like controlling thermostats.

"Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family," said Google CEO Larry Page then.

"They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now - thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!"

Google has made no such comments about Deepmind. µ


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