Google Inc. (GOOG) continued to expand its empire with the acquisition of DeepMind Technologies. The acquisition of the artificial intelligence (AI) company was finalized by Google’s CEO, Larry Page for a reported $400 million.
DeepMind Technologies is a privately held company, founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman in 2012, for the purpose of building “powerful general-purpose learning algorithms”. Its algorithms are supposed to enhance simulation, e-commerce and games.
The technology that DeepMind has developed is based on the concept of “deep learning”, which basically means the usage of algorithms to model representative behavior from seemingly abstract information. It is a tool that is widely used to develop artificial intelligence.
The search engine company, which is working on high-speed Internet access and advanced research on self-driving cars and robotics, has strengthened its focus on artificial intelligence in recent years. In May 2012, it announced a partnership with NASA and several universities to launch the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. Thus, the latest move reconfirms its growing interest in artificial intelligence.
Internet-focused technology companies like Facebook Inc. (FB), International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) have increased focus on deep learning either through acquisitions or internal development or both. The DeepMind acquisition will help Google to compete against these.
Google, the world's largest online search engine, is increasingly extending its foothold into new markets and currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).