Google Buys U.K. Artificial Intelligence Company DeepMind

Jan 27, 2014 8:48 am ET

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. is adding to its range of artificial intelligence with the acquisition of DeepMind Technologies Ltd., a London-based startup founded by former chess prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis.

DeepMind’s expertise will be used to improve search results, Google Translate and other products, said a Google spokesman in London, who asked not to be named citing company policy.

“We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms,” DeepMind said on its website. The company didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

Google has spent more than $17 billion in the past two years to purchase hardware, software and advertising-technology companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Mountain View, California-based Internet company agreed to spend $3.2 billion this month on Nest Labs Inc., a home automation company that makes thermostats and smoke alarms that connect to the Internet.

DeepMind was incorporated in September 2010, according to filings on Companies House. Hassabis, 37, founded the company with Mustafa Suleyman and Shane Legg.

Technology blog Re/Code reported the acquisition yesterday.

--Editors: Mark Beech, Thomas Mulier