Nand Kishor Contributor

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...

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Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...

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Google's AI powerhouse DeepMind is opening its first international lab in Canada

By Nand Kishor |Email | Jul 6, 2017 | 5298 Views

Although it was bought by Google in 2014, AI firm DeepMind has always been true to its British roots - expanding its offices in London, working closely with UK institutions like the NHS, and even teaching in the country's universities. Now, though, the company is opening its "first ever international AI office" - in Edmonton, Canada.

It's a natural fit for DeepMind, which has close links with the AI research community in Edmonton's University of Alberta. The company says nearly a dozen Alberta grads have joined its ranks, and the firm has sponsored the university's machine learning lab for a number of years. Richard Sutton, professor of computing science at Alberta, was also DeepMind's first outside advisor, and will head up the company's new base along with colleagues Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski. Seven more researchers will join them to fill out the initial DeepMind Alberta team.

Sutton is a particularly notable figure in the AI community, known for his pioneering work in the field of reinforcement learning. This is a technique that allows computer agents to teach themselves through trial-and-error, with researchers programming virtual rewards when they do the right thing. It sounds like a simple tool, but it has sophisticated results. DeepMind has used a variation of this method - known as deep reinforcement learning - in some of its most notable success, including creating an AI that can learn to play video games.

In a press statement, Sutton described the University of Alberta as "the world's academic leader in reinforcement learning," making it an well-chosen partnership. He added that the new lab will "turbo-charge the research ecosystem" and "drive a whole host of new scientific breakthroughs right here in Canada, propelling the field of AI forwards into exciting new territory."

Although DeepMind is calling this lab its first "international research office," this description isn't quite complete. A number of the company's researchers also work in Google's Mountain View headquarters, to "bridge the gap between Google and [the] team in London." These employees work in the "applied" side of DeepMind (the other side is pure research); looking at ways to use its AI in real-life situations, like cutting the energy bills in Google's data centers. According to a recent report from Business Insider, the Mountain View contingent now numbers 20 researchers.

Source: The Verge