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A Google X executive refused to comment when asked about his organisation’s relationship with London artificial intelligence lab DeepMind, which is also owned by Google.
Based out of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, Google X is Google’s moonshot factory. It’s working on revolutionary new technologies and ideas such as hot air balloons that beam down internet to rural communities and self-driving cars.
Meanwhile, DeepMind is an AI company in London that Google acquired in 2014 for a reported £400 million. The firm is building machines that can learn for themselves and is regarded as one of the world leaders in AI.
Mo Gawdat, chief business officer of Google X, said he couldn’t share the details of the relationship between Google X and Google DeepMind. “I wouldn’t be able to share that,” he told Business Insider at the Wired Live conference last Friday. He added: “But all of Google works together.”
Google X and DeepMind are two of the most forward-thinking business units that sit under Google parent company Alphabet. If the two divisions teamed up then DeepMind’s AI agents could theoretically end up playing some sort of role in self driving cars and Google X’s other projects.
Google has found a couple of uses for DeepMind’s algorithms over the last 18 months. For example, DeepMind’s algorithms have been used by Google to reduce the amount of energy consumed in its fleet of power hungry data centres. Google is also using DeepMind’s “WaveNet” algorithms to generate the Google Assistant voices for US English and Japanese.
DeepMind declined to comment.