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Google makes its biggest ever British acquisition, buying DeepMind for reported $500m

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Google’s shopping spree continues unbated with a surprise acquisition of London-based DeepMind Technologies for a reported $400-$500m.

DeepMind special in artificial intelligence and describe themselves as ‘combining the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms’.

The company has kept a low profile since being founded two years ago by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

Connection with Elon Musk?

Neither party have disclosed details about the deal, but Google has told The Verge the acquisition is taking place.

According to data from Duedil, the Elon Musk Revocable Trust had a small interest in the company. Based on data from their last returns to Companies House, Duedil reported the company’s net worth at £14.1m.

Battle with Facebook

Reports have surfaced over the weekend that Facebook were in serious talks with DeepMind about a potential acquisition deal late last year, but were reportedly outbid by Google.

The Information also revealed Google has set up an ethics board to ensure DeepMind’s technology isn’t abused in the future.

Google’s march into AI

Many analysts have noted Google’s recent appetite for artificial intelligence startups.

In December last year they acquired Boston Dynamics, the company behind the Cheetah, the world’s fastest running robot. Google have reportedly acquired 7 different robotics in recent years, and set up specialist teams in Palo Alto and Japan.

Watch a clip of Wildcat, Boston Dynamic’s latest robotic creation:

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