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smart machines

Google steps up AI efforts with $500 million purchase of DeepMind

The startup specialises in developing human-like artificial intelligence for simulations, e-commerce and games.

GOOGLE HAS PURCHASED London-based startup Deepmind for a reported $500 million (€365 million).

The company, which specialises in developing human-like artificial intelligence, builds learning algorithms that allows machines to teach themselves new capabilities without human input.

The company has been operating in stealth mode and has yet to release its first products before Google acquired it.

The company was founded by games prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. The secretive company, which is regarded as a major player in the AI field, has a team of at least 5o people and has secured more than $50 million in funding, Re/Code reports.

It was reported that other companies such as Facebook were interested in buying the company late last year, but talks between the two parties fell apart.

The purchase ties into Google’s robotics project which it’s been working on recently. Last month, the company bought robotics firm Boston Dynamics for an undisclosed sum.

Many other companies such as IBM and Yahoo have also been interested in developing artificial intelligence as a new source of business. IBM in particular has been working on developing its computer system Waston which it has invested $1 billion into.

It hopes that the system will help the company reach a $20 billion revenue projection for its big data analytic services by 2015.

Read: Google envisions self-driving cars being used as ad-powered taxis >

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