Google buys British start-up DeepMind Technologies

Artificial intelligence firm DeepMind have been snapped up by Google - the tech giant's largest European acquisition to date.

Google has bought London's DeepMind Technologies, a firm specialising in artificial intelligence, for around $500m. It is the technology giant's biggest European purchase to date.

DeepMind's technology has so far centred on e-commerce, simulations and games. The company was established by Demis Hassibis, a child chess prodigy who went into computer-game design before gaining a PhD in neuroscience.

What the commentators said

Google's founders ultimately want to make Google Search "AI-complete", said Sophie Curtis in The Daily Telegraph that is, just as intelligent as a human. Google is already working on virtual personal assistants, based on its knowledge of users' habits.

But it will be a long time before software can mimic the complexity of the human brain, with its 100 billion neurons and 1,000 times as many synapses, all working in parallel, said Emily Cadman on Ft.com. One expert reckons we'll be doing well to develop a system with the intelligence of a rat within a decade. Nor is it clear that DeepMind can deliver the goods, as Paul Murphy pointed out on Ftalphaville.ft.com.

One of Hassibis's previous ventures, a games company established during the "last big tech frenzy quickly disappeared". And DeepMind doesn't even have a product to its name yet. This is starting to look like a new technology bubble.

Recommended

The MoneyWeek Podcast: let's talk about bubbles
Stockmarkets

The MoneyWeek Podcast: let's talk about bubbles

Merryn and John talk about the many obvious signs of a bubble in certain assets, including tech stocks, TikTok, and stock-trading 12-year olds. It's c…
22 Jan 2021
Eternal growth: how to invest in the future of the drinks industry
Share tips

Eternal growth: how to invest in the future of the drinks industry

Humans have been dabbling in tasty beverages for millennia. Jonathan Compton assesses the key trends in the sector and recommends seven hard- and soft…
22 Jan 2021
The world’s fund managers are getting very bullish – be careful out there
Stockmarkets

The world’s fund managers are getting very bullish – be careful out there

The latest survey of fund managers shows them to be extremely bullish on all the same things. And that, says John Stepek, means the market is in dange…
21 Jan 2021
Five online retail stocks to diversify your portfolio with
Share tips

Five online retail stocks to diversify your portfolio with

Professional investor Tancredi Cordero, founder and CEO of Kuros Associates, selects five of his favourite online retail stocks to buy now.
18 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021
When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?
US stockmarkets

When will the US stockmarket bubble burst?

With US stocks more expensive than before the Wall Street crash of 1929, there are growing signs of “mania”. But what will push markets over the edge?
22 Jan 2021