|Google has made another key acquisition in artificial intelligence, gobbling up DeepMind, a young company started by Demis Hassabis, Mustafa Suleyman, Jaan Tallin and Shane Legg.|
Another day, and another major acquisition by Google. The company has announced it will buy London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. The deal was confirmed to Re/code by Google. There is speculation on the price for DeepMind, but it is rumoured to be in the $400 million range.
DeepMind was founded by well known AI researchers, neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former child prodigy in chess, Mustafa Suleyman, Jaan Tallin, Skype and Kazaa developer, and researcher Shane Legg.
Tallinn is also a board member of the Lifeboat Foundation an organization with the tagline "safeguarding humanity" and at university he majored in theoretical physics.
This is the latest move by Google expands the already impressive roster of artificial intelligence experts, and was reportedly led by Google CEO Larry Page. In December 2012, Google hired inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Ray Kurzweil as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing. Kurzweil has said that he wants to build a search engine so advanced that it could act like a “cybernetic friend.”
Not to mention the robotic bodies for the AI's may also be well underway at Google thanks to the recent vast acquisitions in that area as well.
Google’s hiring of Deepmind will help it compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning. For example, Facebook recently hired NYU professor Yann LeCunn to lead its new artificial intelligence lab, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is now working on deep learning, and Yahoo recently acquired photo analysis startup LookFlow to lead its new deep learning group.
DeepMind’s site currently only has a landing page, which says that it is “a cutting edge artificial intelligence company” to build general-purpose learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce, and games.
Ben Goertzel, Marcus Hutter, Alex Wissner-Gross, and other AI experts may want to keep their voicemail free in the next few weeks.
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