Google has revealed that it's purchased London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind, a startup founded by chess prodigy and Theme Park co-designer Demis Hassabis, who worked alongside Peter Molyneux at just age 17. Google has not stated how much it paid for DeepMind, but reports suggest that it was around $400 million.
Needless to say, artificial intelligence is hugely important in all areas of computing and its growth and evolution will have a big impact on the way we interact with video games. At the moment, it's unclear what Google intends to do with DeepMind, but the company's first commercial products are said to involve "simulations, e-commerce and games."
Google has been active in the area of AI and robotics. Google recently purchased military robot manufacturer Boston Dynamics, the company's been working on technology for self-driving cars (which of course requires very sophisticated AI) and in 2012 it hired famed futurist Ray Kurzweil as Engineering Director. Kurzweil has been working on how to create an artificial brain and DeepMind's AI technology is aimed at helping computers think like humans, so there will likely be some synergy there. We'll be curious to see what implications DeepMind ultimately has on gaming.