Wheelings & Dealings: Google Delves in Artificial Intelligence with DeepMind Acquisition

January 27, 2014
By: Rory Lidstone

Ever since Google (News - Alert) became the top name in search, it has been on the hunt for ways to further improve its search algorithms, accuracy and effectiveness. The problem is, it seems the company has gone about as far as traditional computing and coding can take it in the area of search — which is why artificial intelligence has been on Google’s mind for some time now. That’s why it isn’t surprising that the company recently bought artificial intelligence company DeepMind for $400 million.

Making Google Search think more like a human would, without a doubt, takes its effectiveness to a level beyond what even location-based data has taken it. Whether this means researching to teach computers regret — a campaign Google helped fund back in 2011 — or finding a way to impart them with some level of emotional understanding, as Google’s Ray Kurzweil has stated is the next step for search, artificial intelligence seems to be the key to getting there.

In other words, Google’s acquisition of DeepMind or some company like it was only a matter of time. That said, it seems as though DeepMind is a cut above others in the area of artificial intelligence.

Considered a formidable player in the artificial intelligence space, DeepMind has been “aggressively recruiting” lately and has secured over $50 million in funding, according to Re/code. In fact, it seems the company has even competed with Google, as well as the likes of Facebook (News - Alert) and Baidu, for talent in the past. More importantly, DeepMind has been working on a variety of approaches to artificial intelligence and applying them to a range of potential products — an approach that likely appealed to Google.

All speculation aside, the fact that Google CEO Larry Page (News - Alert) is said to have led the acquisition deal himself speaks volumes about how important DeepMind could potentially be for the future of Google.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker