According to The Information, Google paid in excess of $500 for DeepMind, while Re/code puts the figure at $400 million. Regardless of the cost, Google is said to have competed with Facebook for the startup – DeepMind and Facebook were in advanced talks, but the deal fell through late last year.
DEEPMIND ASKED GOOGLE TO ESTABLISH AN AI ETHICS BOARD
One of the conditions that DeepMind raised was for Google to establish an “ethics board” that would ensure that artificial intelligence technology is not abused. It’s not clear whether this board would supervise the use of DeepMind technology or of Google’s AI efforts in general.
The deal was reportedly spearheaded by Google CEO Larry Page himself. If Hassabis and DeepMind’s other talent will work for Google, they will join other AI experts including Anna Patterson and Jeffrey Dean. Futurologist Ray Kurzweil is also working at Google with the stated goal to create a search engine that acts much like a “cybernetic friend”.