How Google DeepMind Plans to Solve Intelligence

Padded walls, gloomy lighting, and a ceiling with floral wallpaper. It doesn’t look like a place to make groundbreaking discoveries that change the trajectory of society. But in these simulated, claustrophobic corridors, Demis Hassabis thinks he can lay the foundations for software that’s smart enough to solve humanity’s biggest problems. “Our goal’s very big,” says Hassabis, whose level-headed manner can mask the audacity of his ideas. He leads a team of roughly 200 computer scientists and neuroscientists at Google’s DeepMind, the London-based group behind the AlphaGo software that defeated the world champion at Go in a five-game series earlier this month, setting a milestone in computing. It’s supposed to be just an early checkpoint in an effort Hassabis describes as the Apollo program of artificial intelligence, aimed at “solving intelligence,…


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