Google DeepMind partners with Oxford for AI push

Back in January of this year,


bought DeepMind, a startup focused on artificial intelligence and its possible future uses. Though the company has been relatively quiet on its efforts since then, work has been underway and will soon get a boost from Oxford University professors, among others. Google announced a partnership with the university today, saying that under the collaboration its artificial intelligence research will "accelerate" and, in turn, Oxford will benefit by way of a "substantial contribution" from Google.

In the category of improving language-based artificial intelligence, Google's DeepMind will be working alongside Oxford's Prof Nando de Freitas, Prof Phil Blunsom, Dr Edward Grefenstette and Dr Karl Moritz Hermann. DeepMind has also been working on visual recognition AI systems, for which it will now be working alongside Dr Karen Simonyan, Max Jaderberg and Prof Andrew Zisserman.

Of course, though the focus is presently on things like natural language processing, the possibilities are vast and, to some, frightening. Concerns about the darker side of artificial intelligence are valid, and so it isn't surprising that the day after the acquisition, word surfaced that Google was

planning an ethics board

for the startup.

An ethics board would, perhaps firstly, take legal risk into account, but would help ensure on some level that the technology — to whatever heights it might reach — isn't abused. This follows in line without other entities that are preemptively addressing these kinds of issues, such as

the informal meeting

the UN held back in May regarding so-called killer robots.


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