Google has just acquired the artificial intelligence setup DeepMind. The bargain was finalized for a cool $400 million. Google outbid Facebook and now has a valuable acquisition that may one day allow thinking on a human scale.
While Google has taken over DeepMind, it is careful lest some mad scientist abuse the privilege of this state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology. That may be one reason it has established an ethics board to ensure moral safety as far as this potent merger is concerned. Facebook too had its eyes set on DeepMind.
In fact, it was seriously considering buying the startup. But somehow the talks failed in the end much to the delight of Google. Google then went for the jugular and acquired the company which is now a feather in its cap. The moon-shot that the execs at Google are always talking about seems to have really overreached itself this time.
DeepMind is all about making computers think in a manner similar to human beings. This is quite a tall order but unlike in the past, when limitations were considered, the possibilities this time around are virtually infinite. That may be one reason why the ethical dimensions are not being ignored. Already, using DeepMind’s services, computers are able to play video games.
What can one say of the day when they will be talking and thinking like people? The very thought is mindboggling. And the day computers learn to feel is a nightmare in itself. That is why care is being exercised with this potent technology that mimics psychology. Both Google and DeepMind were contacted for comments on the matter. They have yet to respond to queries by the press.