Google Purchases Artificial Intelligence Startup DeepMind

Scott Lambert

To get into the robotics business, it is a good idea to have a team that can build machine intelligence. If already in the search engine business, such a team might also come in very useful. For this reason, it is no real surprise that Google has bought London artificial intelligence (AI) business DeepMind. With a price tag of $400m, AI is clearly something Google values very highly; so far, Google is not commenting on quite what it intends to do with it.

The purchase follows soon after Google’s acquisition of eight different robotics companies and high-profile AI experts, such as Blaise Agüera y Arcas. Google has talked in the past about its aim to make its search system more organic, more capable of understanding natural language and more effectively filtering the results, and has recently begun to make moves in this direction by experimenting with additional information in results. As Facebook also invests in AI technology and seeks to personalize its advertising more precisely, Google is keen not to give ground. Google has also implied that it intends to expand its activities into the growing field of smart houses, purchasing Nest and looking at the possibilities inherent in connecting computers and appliances within the home. This is an area full of intriguing marketing possibilities and the race is on to develop practical revenue strategies for it.

“We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms,” says DeepMind on its website. Although it has never actually sold a product, its presentations have impressed investors sufficiently to raise over $50m in funds for the work it has underway. Google is said to be interested primarily because of the talent on DeepMind's team, with the combination of talents from both companies believed by experts to represent the best chance there is of a major breakthrough in AI taking place within the next few years. Last year Facebook tried in vain to persuade some members of the DeepMind team to defect to it.

"We're really excited to be joining Google. This partnership will allow us to turbo-charge our mission to harness the power of machine learning tools to tackle some of society's toughest problems, and help make our everyday lives more productive and enjoyable," said DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis in a statement. “We've built a world-leading team here in the UK and we're looking forward to accelerating the impact of our technology with Google.”

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

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