Gesture politics?

1st December 2014

Gesture politics?
Members of the European parliament have agreed that Google should be broken up, unbundling search from its advertising business. This follows other companies’ complaints that Google’s search results prioritise its own advertisers, and that Google copies content from other websites, for example, as part of its reviews.
Of course, the EU has no direct power to force Google to break itself up. But this is really about the EU’s frustration with Google over a range of issues from alleged anti-competitive practices to data privacy. The EU could fine Google around 10 percent of its revenue. But this is really a warning to other large corporations – though nothing’s really going to change until the EU tightens up its tax rules.

Google acquires Deepmind

28th January 2014

Google has bought the British firm DeepMind Technologies, which specialises in developing artificial intelligence solutions. The company was founded in 2010 by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman and has concentrated on deep learning algorithms, that allow machines to learn in a similar fashion to humans, using experiential learning. The company has been well-funded and has demonstrated solutions for simulations, e-commerce and games. Google has also used Deep Learning for projects such as recognising house numbers from StreetView pictures.
Google is said to have paid around £400m, making it one of Google’s largest European acquisitions. Google has also agreed to set up an ethics board to ensure that the technology is not abused.