Google Buys Secretive A.I. Company DeepMind for $400 Million

The acquisition of DeepMind will add a few key players to Google's growing ranks of AI experts

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Chris Helgren / Reuters

A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in Toronto September 5, 2013.

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.