Google steps up its artificial intelligence research

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Google steps up its artificial intelligence research

New hires to bolster Deep Mind acquisition.

Google is expanding its artificial intelligence research, hiring more than half a dozen leading academics and experts in the field and announcing a partnership with Oxford University to "accelerate" its efforts.

The web giant will make a "substantial contribution" to establish a research partnership with Oxford's computer science and engineering departments, the company said on Thursday.

The company did not provide any financial details about the partnership, saying only in a post on its blog that it will include a program of student internships and a series of joint lectures and workshops "to share knowledge and expertise."

Google is building up its artificial intelligence capabilities as it strives to maintain its dominance in the internet search market and to develop new products such as robotics and self-driving cars. In January it acquired artificial intelligence company Deep Mind for US$400 million.

The new hires will be joining Google's Deep Mind team, including three artificial intelligence experts whose work has focused on improving computer visual recognition systems. Among that team is Oxford Professor Andrew Zisserman, a three-time winner of the Marr Prize for computer vision.

The four founders of Dark Blue Labs will also be joining Google where they will be will be leading efforts to help machines "better understand what users are saying to them".

Google said that three of the professors will hold joint appointments at Oxford, and will continue to work part time at the university.

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