London-based startup DeepMind is reported to be acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount that is rumored to be between $400 and $500 million. First confirmed to re/code, the acquisition will bring to Google’s ranks a highly-talented artificial intelligence crew led by the founders Demis Hassabis, a neuroscientists and games wiz, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.
DeepMind’s operations are not very well-known to many as it rarely promotes itself through press or commercial end-products. It describes itself on its equally secretive website as “a cutting edge artificial intelligence company that builds general-purpose learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce, and games”. According to TheInformation, the company has around 75 employees and develops technologies that “aim to make computers think like humans”.
Re/code also reports that Founders Fund is a major investor in DeepMind along with Horizons Ventures. The team also has the backing of Skype and Kazaa developer Jaan Tallinn both as an investor and advisor.
DeepMind acquisition is seen as the latest major move by Google to beef up its artificial intelligence team that works on machine learning. Devised by Google CEO Larry Page and led by Ray Kurzweil, the AI engineering team aims to develop an “intelligent” search engine. The acquisition of DeepMind is said to be led by Page. According to TheInformation, Google has also agreed to establish an ethics board to ensure that DeepMind’s artificial intelligence technologies are not abused.