Google Inc (NASDAQ GOOG) is expanding on its artificial intelligence firm. The tech giant recently purchase two more U.K. based startups. The acquired companies include Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory as well as seven top researchers. These companies will join DeepMind artificial intelligence research company, which was acquired by Google earlier this year.
DeepMind’s co-founder Demis Hassabis explained, “We are thrilled to welcome these extremely talented machine learning researchers to the Google DeepMind team and are excited about the potential impact of the advances their research will bring.”
DeepMind works similar to the artificial intelligence devices seen in movies. It is essentially a computer that works like the human brain. What separates this technology from others is it specializes in understanding natural human language. The search giant is already looking for new ways to pioneer this technology. Google already has a voice search feature built-in to Android phones and tablets. The voice search feature can also be used via a web browser.
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It is reported Professor Nando de Freitas, Professor Phil Blunsom, Dr. Karl Moritz Hermann and Dr. Edward Grefenstette will work on enabling machines such as computers or robots to better understand human speech. Vision Factory specializes in both deep learning and visual recognition systems. This applies artificial intelligence techniques to improve accuracy. The company’s founders will help Google better its vision systems.
Three of the researchers will stay at Oxford University to remain as part-time lecturers. Google will continue to make donations to both engineering and computer science departments in order to create new research partnerships.
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The lead researcher for computer science at Oxford University, Mike Woolridge, said “Machine Learning is a technology whose time has come. We have invested heavily in this area and we are truly excited at the prospect of what we can achieve together with Google. It is a really exciting time for Artificial Intelligence research these days, and progress is being made on many fronts including image recognition and natural language understanding.”
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