Google has reportedly purchased an artificial intelligence startup called DeepMind founded by neuroscientist Dennis Hassabis, a chess genius who, according to Mind Sports Olympiad, could be “the best games player in history.” Although Google refused to reveal the price of the purchase, anonymous sources speculate that the corporation spent $400 million on the current artificial intelligence talent acquisition.
According to Re/code, Google CEO Larry Page reportedly purchased the artificial intelligence startup DeepMind and even led the deal himself. Although information regarding DeepMind is scarce, unnamed sources in the artificial intelligence community mention that the startup has been recruiting people and its team has exceeded 50 people. Moreover, anonymous sources mention Founders Fund and Horizons Ventures as major investors, along with Skype developer Jaan Tallin as a possible investor and advisor. The startup is also believed to have over $50 million in funding.
Sources in the artificial intelligence community also mention that DeepMind can compete with giants like Facebook or Google for talent and that it could be “the largest independent company” which focuses on artificial intelligence.
Google’s reported purchase of artificial intelligence startup DeepMind comes about one year after announcing the opening of a new lab which focuses on quantum computer, best explained by Carnegie Mellon professor Larry Wasserman as “a system that thinks.” Although Wasserman was referring to the startup when he characterized its progress in neuroscience and machine learning, both Google and DeepMind are interested in deep learning and the emancipation of the traditional computers.
As Google stated in a blog post, the goal is “to study how quantum computing might advance machine learning.” In addition, Hartmut Neven, the company’s director of engineering revealed the fact that Google needs machine learning in order to “make more accurate predictions.” Neven also mentioned that “a more useful search engine” is possible only if better models can determine the information stored on the Web and “get the best answer.” Google’s partnership with NASA triggered D-Wave system, a supercomputer defined by The Wall Street Journal as a single chip which “houses 512 qubits.”
Google’s reported purchase of artificial intelligence startup DeepMind comes after giant tech companies like Facebook and IBM became interested in deep learning. Facebook recently welcomed New York University professor Yann LeCunn to manage the new artificial intelligence lab and IBM succeeded in training its Watson supercomputer to work on deep learning. Yahoo also entered the deep learning group after purchasing photo analysis startup LookFlow.
The company’s immersion in artificial intelligence has already reached maturity thanks to Google X Labs’ neural network created for machine learning. This attempt has already been successful and its role was to connect 16.000 computer processors and set them free on the Internet.
Google reportedly purchased DeepMind, an artificial intelligence startup in order to develop and extend its deep learning and create a search engine that could act as a “cybernetic friend,” as inventor and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil states. DeepMind has seemingly become Google’s valuable talent acquisition which joins the tech giant’s artificial intelligence experts Jeff Dean, Anna Patterson and Geoffrey Hinton.
By Gabriela Motroc