Google DeepMind Expands
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 24 October 2014

Furthering its push into artificial intelligence research Google has acquired two more UK AI start ups and announced a partnership with Oxford University.

At the beginning of 2014 Google bought DeepMind Technologies, a start up describing itself as "a cutting edge artificial intelligence company", see our coverage in Google Buys Unproven AI Company in order to understand the background.

Now Google DeepMind has partnered with two AI research teams, Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory both based in Oxford.



Dark Blue Labs was founded earlier this year by Prof Nando de Freitas, Prof Phil Blunsom, Dr Edward Grefenstette and Dr Karl Moritz Hermann. Their expertise is in the use of deep learning for natural language understanding and will be focusing their efforts on enabling machines to better understand what users are saying to them.

Vision Factory's mission was to improve visual recognition systems using deep learning. Its team comprises Dr Karen Simonyan, Max Jaderberg and Prof Andrew Zisserman, a Fellow of the Royal Society, has the distinction of being the only person to have been awarded the Marr Prize, a biennial award in computer vision, three times.





Together with Dr Simonyan, Prof Zisserman developed one of the winning systems at the recent 2014 ImageNet competition. Regarded as the most competitive image recognition contests in the world, this contest was won in 2012 by Prof Geoffrey Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto, Ilya Sutskever and Alex Krizhevsky. This was the first team of AI researchers to be acquired by Google to continue its research into neural networks. 

Google DeepMind has hired all seven founders of these startups with the three professors holding joint appointments at Oxford University where they will continue to spend part of their time. 

According to Demis Hassabis,co-founder of DeepMind and now Vice President of Engineering at Google, Google DeepMind will be making a "substantial contribution" to establish a research partnership with the Computer Science Department and the Engineering Department at Oxford University as a part of the collaborative initiative. This will include a program of student internships and a series of joint lectures and workshops to share knowledge and expertise.



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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 October 2014 )