DeepMind: pioneering AI research from Go to coronavirus
Founded in 2010 by a trio of Britons - Mustafa Suleyman, Shane Legg and Demis Hassabis - the AI company DeepMind is led by Hassabis, who serves as CEO.
Hassabis, a child chess prodigy, developed his interest in AI while working at video game developer Bullfrog in the 1990s, later studying Computer Science at Cambridge University.
The company first came to public attention in 2016, when DeepMind’s AlphaGo won a best-of-five against Go world champion Lee Sedol. Though chess playing supercomputers such as IBM’s Deep Blue have been around since the 90s, DeepMind approached the massively more complex game of Go with machine learning techniques including neural networks and reinforcement and imitation learning.
More recently, AlphaStar beat a professional StarCraft II player, again representing a huge jump in complexity. That development saw AlphaStar playing against versions of itself to achieve Grandmaster ranking, denoting the top competitive league of StarCraft II when played as an esport. The AI was ranked above 99.8% of other players.
Having been acquired by Google in 2014 and subsequently reorganised to become a subsidiary of Google’s parent Alphabet, DeepMind nevertheless retains a focus on academic research to push the boundaries of AI. One of its latest projects involves turning its technology on to the study of coronavirus. The company’s AlphaFold system analyses protein structure and folding.
In a blog post, the company explained the application of its system to the virus. “AlphaFold, our recently published deep learning system, focuses on predicting protein structure accurately when no structures of similar proteins are available, called “free modelling”. We’ve continued to improve these methods since that publication and want to provide the most useful predictions, so we’re sharing predicted structures for some of the proteins in SARS-CoV-2 generated using our newly-developed methods.”
Searching for the Top 100 Leaders in Technology
The search is on for the Top 100 Leaders in Technology 2021 – nominated by readers of Technology magazine and open to all.
The initiative has been launched and nominations are now open, with the final, prestigious Top 100 due to be announced during Technology and AI LIVE running 14-16 September, beamed from London to the world.
This latest, definitive list of the leading executives and influencers in the industry will be announced at the event and shared across social media channels, this website, and presented in a special supplement that honours all of those named in our annual list.
The Top 100 Leaders follows on from the well-received Top 100 Women in Technology that BizClik Media Group (BMG) – publishers of Technology magazine, AI magazine and a growing portfolio of industry-leading titles – produced in March this year to coincide with International Women’s Day.
“The Top 100 Women recognised the incredible and influential women driving our industry,” says Scott Birch, editorial director, BMG. “The success of that initiative encouraged us to recognise the Top 100 Leaders – individuals championing everything that we love about technology and embracing best practice that’s good for business.”
Nominations are already coming in, with some notable highlights including:
Rhonda Vetere - Herbalife
Bryan Smith - Expedient
Nominate your Top 100 Leader HERE
The deadline for nominations closes on Sunday 1 August 2021, and it is free to nominate. The Top 100 Leaders will be announced across our platforms and at the LIVE event.