In October 2014, Google announced a partnership with Oxford University to join forces on Artificial Intelligence (AI) research in areas where, it needs a broader understanding on subjects such as natural language comprehension and image recognition.
The announcement was made in a blog entry by Google’s vice president of engineering, Demis Hassabis, who is also the co-founder of Deepmind, the AI startup acquired by Google in early 2014 for an astounding $400 million.
In the blog post, Hassabis wrote that Google will be working with two AI research companies, Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory. Both the companies were founded by seven research specialists, a few of whom are based at the Oxford University.
Dark Blue Labs, which embodies “four world leading experts in the use of deep learning for natural language understanding,” will lead the research and upgrade voice recognition technology. It’s CEO Dr Karl Moritz revealed that the collaboration will create “significant numbers of extra scholarships and funding to talented DPhil students”.
Vision Factory, whose group incorporates one of the world’s leading specialists on machine vision frameworks, will proceed with their work creating visual recognition technology utilizing deep learning, which is basically about instructing machines to process and understand the data the way humans do.
Hassabis said that the partnership will include Google in making a sizeable commitment for the foundation of a research association with the Computer Science Department and the Engineering Department at Oxford University. Both will include student internship programs as well as a series of joint lectures and workshops for knowledge sharing and expertise.
Before Google acquired DeepMind in January 2014, the London-based startup had received funding from a few prominent tech investors and entrepreneurs empowering it to launch applications joined with simulations, e-commerce, and games.
Google has been tight lipped about any specific plans for its AI research. It should be noted that in past one year, Google has acquired around 8 Artificial Intelligence and four other Robotics or AI related companies – all under AI research at Google’s semi-secret Google[x] Lab.