Another day, another Google acquisition. This time it’s London based firm DeepMind who specialise in machine learning and systems neuroscience with their first commercial applications to be simulations, e-commerce and games.
It’s pretty clear Google have big plans in robotics, with their acquisitions of Shaft and Boston Dynamics last year and with the hardware elements in certainly capable hands, they’ve moved on to the software side. While Google certainly already has a good base in intelligent software, from their speech recognition found in Google Now and used for subtitles on YouTube, to their machine vision techniques for intelligent image search and face recognition, and not to mention the complex algorithms for search and ads. They have never really built a full and complete system with these modules, apart from their driverless car that’s been roaming the streets since around 2010.
There’s no doubt that this push from one of the largest software companies is going to have an impact on robotics and artificial intelligence, let’s just hope they’re sticking to their company motto of “Don’t be evil”. Exactly how this lines up with the acquisition of Nest, the intelligent home thermostat, is still to be seen, but considering they’re one of the best implementation of “the internet of things” could line up with better communications between smart products in your home and your future robotic helper.