Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is buying artificial intelligence company DeepMind for $400 million, snapping up a talent pool the company says will have practical uses in e-commerce.
London-based DeepMind was founded by games prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. According to Re/code, this is largely a talent acquisition, and Google CEO Larry Page led the deal himself. Hassabis in particular is a former child prodigy in chess and "probably the best games player in history" according to the Mind Sports Olympiad.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) was reportedly also in talks to acquire DeepMind, according to TechCrunch.
Google is focused on deep learning and is investing in companies that can help it go, well, deeper. The acquisition of Nest for $3.2 billion Jan. 13, could give Google a digital foothold inside the home beyond their computing devices. Nest's learning thermostat and detectors track individual uses and preferences, it even knows when they are home or out.
Nest collects valuable data on consumers in places Google couldn't otherwise reach, data that can help it be a better marketer and player in e-commerce. It also makes Google data more valuable to retailers.
The addition of DeepMind and its team could help push Google analytics into new territory.
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