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Google buying AI startup DeepMind for a reported $400 million

Google buying AI startup DeepMind for a reported $400 million

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Google appears to be building on its already massive interest in AI and robotics. Re/code reports that the search company is in the process of acquiring DeepMind Technologies for $400 million as part of a concerted talent acquisition effort. We've reached out to Google for confirmation.

According to the startup's website (which is currently only a placeholder), DeepMind combines machine learning and neuroscience to create "general-purpose learning algorithms." Details are sparse on the buyout, but the report comes little more than a month after the Mountain View company bought robotics outfit Boston Dynamics. It's still unclear just where Google's robotics program is going, but it's certainly growing incredibly fast.

Update: A Google spokesperson confirmed with The Verge that the acquisition is taking place, but would not comment on how much the company paid in the deal.

Update 2: The Information now reports that Google beat Facebook to the DeepMind acquisition, spending more than $500 million for the company. Facebook was reportedly deep in negotiation talks with DeepMind, and it's unclear why the deal fell through. Sources also stated that Google has created an ethics board to ensure that the AI technologies it is developing are not abused.