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Google buys artificial intelligence start-up DeepMind Technologies

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January 27, 2014

Google has acquired artificial intelligence company DeepMind for US$400 million, according...

Google has acquired artificial intelligence company DeepMind for US$400 million, according to a report from Re/code on Sunday

According to a report from Re/code, Google has acquired UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind Technologies for US$400 million. The acquisition is the latest in a series of purchases by the search giant in the robotics and artificial intelligence arenas.

According to its website, DeepMind is a "cutting edge artificial intelligence company" which combines "the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms." Based in London, it was co-founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a child chess prodigy, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

Although DeepMind hasn't released any commercial products, the company's AI research was enough to attract the attention of key players keeping a watchful eye on the technology. The Information reports that Facebook was also in discussions with DeepMind, only to be beaten to the punch by Google, with CEO Larry Page finalizing the deal.

The acquisition follows a flurry of recent purchases by Google, which saw it snap up smart home devices company Nest for $3.2 billion and Boston Dynamics, the engineering and robotics company responsible for various robots including BigDog, PETMAN, Cheetah and Atlas.

The Information also reports that Google plans on taking proactive measures in establishing an ethics board to ensure that the artificial intelligence, if developed, is not abused.

Sources: DeepMind, Re/code, The Information

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. He now writes for Gizmag, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, Melbourne's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.   All articles by Nick Lavars
4 Comments

Google + Ethics? ROFL!!!!

christopher
28th January, 2014 @ 04:30 pm PST

Skynet?

StevenCinNYC
28th January, 2014 @ 10:23 pm PST

Hey, any attempt to use ethics is a good sign! I don't think it is easy to be Google and stay un-evil. The company is doing so many different things, has so much money and so much power, that the temptation to abuse their power is going to be ever-present.

No organization can be perfectly ethical -- not even close. I say let us applaud Google for even trying to be a good power in the world instead of a bad one.

ralph.dratman
5th February, 2014 @ 06:26 am PST

Ralph: Every future distopian scenario imaginable is a *direct* result of what google is currently doing.

Every last product or project they are working on has one goal - surveillance.

This isn't unethical it is downright evil, and this is just what we know about...

As soon as I found out what McDonald's puts in the food we stopped eating there. The moment I heard google was reading my email I stopped using gmail.

I'm quite dismayed that seemingly intelligent people are so oblivious.

Neil
8th February, 2014 @ 10:29 pm PST
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