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Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind 113

Posted by timothy
from the doesn't-all-this-artificiality-annoy-you? dept.
TechCrunch reports that Google has acquired London-based artificial intelligence firm Deep Mind. TechCrunch notes that the purchase price, as reported by The Information, was somewhere north of $500 million, while a report at PC World puts the purchase price lower, at mere $400 million. Whatever the price, the acquisition means that Google has beaten out Facebook, which reportedly was also interested in Deep Mind. Exactly what the startup will bring to Google isn't clear, though it seems to fit well with the emphasis on AI that the company underscored with its hiring of futurist Ray Kurzweil: "DeepMind's site currently only has a landing page, which says that it is 'a cutting edge artificial intelligence company' to build general-purpose learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce, and games. As of December, the startup had about 75 employees, reports The Information. In 2012, Carnegie Mellon professor Larry Wasserman wrote that the 'startup is trying to build a system that thinks. This was the original dream of AI. As Shane [Legg] explained to me, there has been huge progress in both neuroscience and ML and their goal is to bring these things together. I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company.'"
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Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

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  • Billionaires (Score:4, Interesting)

    by umdesch4 (3036737) on Monday January 27, 2014 @03:34AM (#46078459)
    "I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company." "Then I realized it was actually a money laundering scheme."
  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Monday January 27, 2014 @04:49AM (#46078679)

    As Snowden already hinted, it's highly likely that NSA and large US companies actually exist in symbiotic relationship in reality, in spite of all the angry public outbursts. NSA likely shares the intelligence data on things like business secrets with US companies, especially when competition is involved.

  • Re:Voice assistant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Warbothong (905464) on Monday January 27, 2014 @06:18AM (#46078955) Homepage

    Since Google still seems to believe Glass has potential to be the "next big thing" and it's entirely voice controlled, it makes sense that they'd want a voice assistant that can respond more intelligently than "I don't have a clue what you're talking about, should I search the web?" Maybe this company's AI would be adaptable to something along those lines?

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of talking to machines. Yeah, it looks awesome in sci-fi, but in real life it just makes you look like a hipster douchebag when you're out in public talking to the little robotic voice inside your mobile device.

    I still find it amusing that command lines are seen as the least intuitive interface and voice control is seen as the second-most intuitive (after mind-controlled), even though voice control is just a command line over a noisy, ambiguous channel, where you can't even see the commands you're inputting.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.