Google buys a British artificial intelligence firm… when will they announce a date for Judgement Day?

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Google have this morning announced that they’ve bought themselves a new toy: a British artificial intelligence firm called DeepMind. According to the International Business Times, they paid a massive $400m (or £242m) for it. Just what are they planning?

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This comes only weeks after Google picked up another company, Boston Dynamics, who specialise in robotics technology – one of eight similar acquisitions in the last year. What could possibly go wrong?

DeepMind describe what they do as “We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.” and say that their “first commercial applications are in simulations, e-commerce and games” – and the speculation is that the first applications for this new acquisition is going to be to improve Google’s search and prediction algorithms.

So let’s put this all together: Google know all about us, including our schedules and our locations, own a robotics company and have now invested in artificial intelligence. If I were Sarah Connor, I’d be getting a bit worried.

Still – perhaps there’s a more innocent recommendation. Maybe they’re just planning to build thousands of robots with artificial intelligence to prop up Google+, in lieu of any actual humans wanting to use it?

James O’Malley
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