The question has flooded the minds of artificial intelligence experts: Is DeepMind owned by Google? The answer is not obvious. The website of the AI company describes itself as a cutting-edge artificial intelligence company that builds general-purpose learning algorithms. As of December, it has 75 employees. Horizons Ventures and Founders Fund are among its major investors. DeepMind was started three years ago.
The artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, was bought by Google for 400 million pounds in 2014. It has the best-known accomplishment of beating a world champion at Go. It is also an AI subfield known as machine learning. While it is not fully autonomous, DeepMind’s programs are still used to develop artificial intelligence and deep learning paradigms. The question remains: is DeepMind owned by Google?
Recently, DeepMind’s AlphaGo program beat world champion Lee Sedol in the Go game. The algorithm combined Monte-Carlo tree search with deep neural networks. It was trained by reinforcement learning from self-play games. It is credited with overcoming 60 handcrafted rule-based systems. The research behind this breakthrough is truly impressive. The company is already using DeepMind’s AI technology to improve Google’s products.
While the financial report of DeepMind is vague, it seems that the AI company is tightly tied with Google. Its fiscal year 2020 filing reveals that revenue at DeepMind increased by PS560 million from PS265 million the previous year. Expenses increased slightly, while profits jumped from PS44 million ($60 million) to PS826 million. The company expects to triple its revenues to PS1 billion ($650 million) in 2020.
The founders of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis and Shane Legg, grew up in Southampton and enrolled at UCL. They teamed up in 2010 and built a prototype for AI. The AlphaFold team, led by Hugo Penedones, was the first team to develop DeepMind’s protein-folding algorithm. Google later acquired Inductiva AI and merged it under its umbrella.