The Race to Buy the Human Brains Behind Deep Learning Machines

Any aspiring science fiction writer looking for a good protagonist could do worse than ripping off the Wikipedia page for Demis Hassabis: He grew up in England as a chess prodigy and built absurdly sophisticated video games before getting a degree in computer science from Cambridge, started studying neuroscience and publishing respected papers on amnesia and other topics, and then proceeded to co-found one of the hottest artificial-intelligence startups. Now that his company, DeepMind, has been snapped up by Google for a reported $400 million to $500 million (depending on your tech blog of choice), exactly how this latest twist will change his story remains to be seen—but there’s a decent chance Hassabis will ultimately become commander of an army of humanoid Googlebots.

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