Search engine outfit Google is to write a $500 million cheque for the London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind.
According to ReCode.net, Google has been scrapping with Facebook in an attempt to take control of the outfit. Google’s win means that it can compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning.
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 was founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, along with Skype and Kazaa developer Jaan Tallin, and researcher Shane Legg.
It looks like DeepMind’s founders will join futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was hired in 2012 as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.
Kurzweil is working on a search engine so advanced that it could act like a “cybernetic friend.”
Apparently, Google has agreed to establish an ethics board to ensure DeepMind’s artificial intelligence technology isn’t abused.
So far though there has not been much in print about what exactly DeepMind’s AI tech does. The outfit’s site is just a landing page, with a relatively vague description that says DeepMind is “a cutting edge artificial intelligence company” to build general-purpose learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce, and games.