Google is adding to its range of artificial intelligence with the acquisition of DeepMind Technologies Ltd., a London startup founded by former chess prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis.
DeepMind's expertise will be used to improve search results, Google Translate and other products, said a Google spokesman in London who asked not to be named citing company policy.
"We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms," DeepMind said on its website. The company didn't immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
Google has spent more than $17 billion in the past two years to purchase hardware, software and advertising-technology companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Mountain View Internet company agreed to spend $3.2 billion this month on Nest Labs Inc., a home automation company that makes thermostats and smoke alarms that connect to the Internet.
Samsung agrees to Google deal
Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker of smartphones using Android software, signed a global patent-licensing agreement with Google to share their technologies.
The agreement covers existing patents and those filed during the next 10 years, according to an e-mailed statement Monday. The strengthened cooperation between the companies may reduce potential litigation, they said.
While the maker of Galaxy devices has risen to the top of the smartphone market using Android, the South Korean company is also working with others, including Intel Corp., on the Tizen open-source platform.
Samsung said previously it would release its first Tizen phone in February through wireless operators including Japan's NTT Docomo Inc., which this month said it won't bring out a phone using the new system "for the time being."
"It seems like Samsung's strategy over Tizen-powered smartphones is fizzling out," saidLee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. "Samsung seems to be reworking its strategy and sticking with Android on smartphones and developing Tizen for other applications, including its home appliances and TVs, instead."
Samsung, which released the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 last year, planned a Tizen device as one of three new high-end smartphones to compete with Apple Inc. in the most profitable segment of the smartphone market. A February release would be four months later than the company had initially forecast.
SAP and Atos help EU on data
SAP AG and Atos are accelerating an effort to help European governments protect citizens' data, in the biggest push by the region's software providers to counter spying threats since leaks about the U.S. National Security Agency's data-collection programs.
The German and French technology companies are working with the European Union to define standards for Web-based programs and data-storage services, SAP Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Hagemann Snabe said.
The goal, backed by European Union Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes, is to come up with labels that signal to authorities which services and programs are safe, potentially spurring demand, he said.
SAP and Atos are vying with Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp and IBM Corp. as the market for government cloud contracts - orders to handle services and data accessed over the Web - is forecast to double to more than $100 billion in three years.
Governments are stepping up information- technology investments amid revelations about U.S. spying and increasing frequency of hacking incidents.
"The political side has grown massively aware of the opportunity of cloud but also the risks associated with cloud," Snabe said last week at SAP's headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.
"We're working with the EU Commission, but also the United States and other countries to try and define what we believe are the principals for a trusted cloud."