Google Buys Artificial Intelligence Company DeepMind for $400M

Since Google’s recent shopping list includes companies that specialized in robotics, home automation, and artificial intelligence, it has become pretty clear that the search giant is going for world domination in more than one way.

Google’s most recent acquisitions suggest that the company might soon manufacture robots and smart appliances for your smart home. However, there might be another layer to Google buying DeepMind Technologies. As this AI company’s website says, “We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.” In this context, it might be more logical to assume that Google’s latest investment is in search, not in robots.

re/code, the first news outlet to break the news about this acquisition, pointed out that it won’t be Andy Rubin who will work closely with DeepMind, but Google search guru Jeff Dean. Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android Inc., has been appointed last month as head of the robotics division at Google, so if the company decided to take the “world domination” route, naming him instead of Jeff Dean would have made much more sense.

One of the Google X projects involving artificial intelligence was supervised by Jeff Dean, so choosing him is the proper thing to do. More precisely, the Google X project involved a 16,000 core neural network that analyzed thousands of cat videos and eventually created an image of what it thought a cat looked like.

As mentioned by The Information, DeepMind imposed a condition before giving away the keys to their company. Google has to establish an ethics board so that the artificial intelligence technology isn’t used for the wrong purposes. In other words, DeepMind didn’t really take Google’s motto, “Don’t be evil,” for granted.

Another interesting piece of information is that Facebook also had its eyes on DeepMind and personally, I’m glad to see that it’s Google who is emerging victorious. It’s pretty obvious that both companies could make use of technologies that enable computers to think more like humans, but Google has more possible applications for artificial intelligence than Facebook. In the context of the ethics board, DeepMind might be more concerned about how artificial intelligence could affect privacy, rather than its possible implementation in robots that take over the world. It would probably be wiser not to erase that last option, just yet.

If you liked this post, please check the patent cross-licensing agreement made by Google and Samsung