G oogle’s AI company has racked up debts of more than £1bn as it fights for preeminence in artificial intelligence research and development. DeepMind’s spending has risen as parent company Alphabet, which also owns Google, hires top academics, researchers and engineers in an effort to beat out its competitors. Its annual accounts from Companies House show losses of more than £470m in 2018, up from £302m the year before, and its expenses rose from £334m to £568m. Of the £1.03bn due for repayment this year, £883m is owed to parent company Alphabet. DeepMind’s accounts said it had “written assurance” from Google that it would be supported for at least another year and helped to pay its debts. In 2018, staff costs almost doubled to £398m. Its 2018 hires included high-flying former City of London bankers and developers and Silicon Valley veterans. It has previously been criticised for offering Oxford and Cambridge academics vast amounts of money to tempt them away from academia and into the private sector. It faces competition for staff from Silicon Valley firms including Apple and Facebook, which hired one of its top research scientists at the start of this year. The London-based firm, which was acquired… Read full this story
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