A British technology start-up has been bought by Google, as the American web giant looks to improve its capabilities in artificial intelligence.
DeepMind Technologies reportedly fetched more than 400 million ($803 million), making it Google's largest European acquisition.
The technology is designed to mimic human thought processes, and has so far been used in simulations, e-commerce and games.
The firm was co-founded just two years ago by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former teenage chess prodigy, with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyma. Hassabis, 37, had an early career in video game design.
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He studied computer science at Cambridge in 1997. In 1998, he switched to cognitive neuroscience to develop artificial intelligence technology. Hassabis has predicted that artificially intelligent machines will learn "basic vision, basic sound processing, basic movement control, and basic language abilities" by the end of the decade.
Google bought several robotics companies last year, including Boston Dynamics, which develops robots resembling animals and has strong links to the military.