Google has declined to comment on its latest acquisition: an obscure artificial intelligence company called DeepMind Technologies, for which it paid $400 million.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the deal with technology news website Re/code on Sunday. DeepMind develops machine-learning algorithms for commercial use, a sweet spot for Google, given its growing stake in the likes of self-driving cars and smart thermostats.
DeepMind shares little information about itself on its one solitary webpage, which functions mostly as an open call for resumes. One of the company’s co-founders, Demis Hassabis, is a chess prodigy turned game designer turned neuroscientist, who has a legendary reputation in artificial intelligence circles.