Update: DeepMind will reportedly be integrated into Google’s search team. That may be good news for those fearing a robot apocalypse, but who’s to say the robots won’t make use of other technologies employed throughout the company?
Google has reportedly acquired artificial intelligence technology company DeepMind. Multiple reports indicate that Google has confirmed the acquisition, but not the price. These reports, citing unnamed sources, have it somewhere in the $400 million – $500 million range.
Not much is known about just what Google has in mind for this acquisition, but according to Liz Gannes at Re/code, it’s essentially a talent acquisition, which includes the talent of Demis Hassabis, who is described as a “games prodigy and neuroscientist.”
Naturally, given other recent acquisitions by Google, one’s mind tends to gravitate toward self-aware robots, who may or may not destroy us all. DeepMind, however, specializes in games and ecommerce. So far at least.
This is what the company says about itself on its homepage:
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.
Founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman, the company is based in London and supported by some of the most iconic technology entrepreneurs and investors of the past decade. Our first commercial applications are in simulations, e-commerce and games.
According to The Information, Google has agreed to set up an ethics board to make sure its AI technology “isn’t abused.”
That report also claims Facebook was in talks to acquire the company last year.
Image via DeepMind