Google acquires artificial intelligence company DeepMind

Google relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence in areas such as translation and visual processing

Google has acquired DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence company in London, reportedly for US$400 million.

A Google representative confirmed the deal Sunday via email, but said the company's isn't providing any additional information at this time.

News website Re/code said in a report on Sunday that Google was paying $400 million for the company, founded by games prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

The company claims on its website that it combines "the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms." It said its first commercial applications are in simulations, e-commerce and games.

Google announced this month it was paying $3.2 billion in cash to acquire Nest, a maker of smart smoke alarms and thermostats, in what is seen as a bid to expand into the connected home market. It also acquired in January a security firm called Impermium, to boost its expertise in countering spam and abuse.

The Internet giant said on a research site that much of its work on language, speech, translation, and visual processing relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence. "In all of those tasks and many others, we gather large volumes of direct or indirect evidence of relationships of interest, and we apply learning algorithms to generalize from that evidence to new cases of interest," it said.

In May, Google launched a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, hosted by NASA's Ames Research Center. The Universities Space Research Association was to invite researchers around the world to share time on the quantum computer from D-Wave Systems, to study how quantum computing can advance machine learning.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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