Google has been buying robot companies, including humanoid robot-maker Boston Dynamics,Nest, the smart-home company that designs thermostats and smoke detectors and now DeepMind, an artificial intelligence startup, reports NBC News today.
Sources say DeepMind is actually being inserted into Google’s oldest team: ‘Search’ as it is now known at Google today, the 'Knowledge' group. It no longer just finds keywords on Web pages, but instead connects larger concepts. Knowledge is led by Google SVP Alan Eustace, but DeepMind will work closely with a team led by Jeff Dean, a near 15-year Google veteran, best known for his work on distributed systems.
The pack of acquired robots will report to former Android boss Andy Rubin, and Nest will continue to be managed by Tony Fadell, who reports directly to Larry Page.
London-based DeepMind with the reported $400 million dollar price tag has not yet released any products, but sources said it was working on at least three: ‘a game with very advanced game AI, a smarter recommendation system for online commerce, and something to do with images,’ is how one source described it.
Deep Mind was established by computer scientist Demis Hassabis and entrepreneurs Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman in 2010, Deep Mind Technologies specializes in developing AI technology to create computer systems capable of playing computer games, with its goal to develop computers that ‘think like humans’.
‘If anyone builds something remotely resembling artificial general intelligence, this will be the team,’ one early investor in DeepMind told Re/code today. ‘Think Manhattan Project for AI.’
The startup company has 50 employees with $50 million in startup money. Reportedly, Larry Page beat out Facebook for it.
Amir Efrati at The Information anticipated the Google acquisition in a paywalled article in December, which laid out the “arms race” in deep learning between tech giants who are increasingly eager to hire researchers in the small field as part of general efforts to make their products smarter.
There are sceptics to Artificial Intelligence over the past sixty-five years since mathematician, John von Neuman first introduced the concept. It has had silent winters of no advancement.
Yoshua Bengio, a computer science professor at the University of Montreal, organized a deep learning workshop at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference where DeepMind presented the Atari paper.
Jeff Dean (the Google executive running the team that DeepMind is joining), was the lead author on a paper in 2012 that boasted of training a deep network ‘30 times larger than previously reported in the literature’ for the purposes of large visual object recognition tasks and speedy speech recognition. He also worked on a somewhat famous project where a neural network of 16,000 computers presented with stills from 10 million YouTube videos taught itself to recognize cats.
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