Reorganizing the world with ground-breaking AI is indeed a costly venture. Google’s AI research company, DeepMind, has seen a three time increase in its expenses in 2017, all owing to an increasing number of employees and infrastructure costs. According to incomes registered at UK’s Companies House, it is also earning more because it has commercialized its technical innovations to assist Google with increased expenses such as cooling server warehouses.
Following are the key costs for 2017:
- Revenue: $71 million, 35% more than $52 million in 2016.
- Losses before tax: $366 million, 123% more than 164 million in 2016.
- Employees Costs: $260 million, 91% more than $136 million in 2016.
- Expenses: $433 million, 104% more than 213 million.
In 2014, Google attained the business in UK for £400 million and it has made history in its aim of developing all-purpose Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2016, Human champ of the strategy game Go, a very difficult game that has ever developed, was beaten was AlphaGo algorithm developed by Google.
This past year, DeepMind got into a scandal which claimed that data-sharing contract with Royal Free hospital was unlawful. In Aug 2018, it revealed its healthcare research by presenting AI which could identify eye diseases.
Employing top-level academics, doctors, and engineers is quite expensive, and till now it is not clear how DeepMind will earn profits. Costs have increased by more than two times, due to “professional service fees”, employees expenses, technical infrastructure, and charitable gifts.
Employees expenses, after doubling, have almost reached £200 million. However, employee numbers were not stated in its earnings, but in 2017, according to Demis Hassabis, CEO, the firm had almost 700 of them.
For now, DeepMind’s returns don’t include any money it earns from its healthcare department. According to a spokeswoman, its revenue mostly includes the services DeepMind provides to its parent firm, such as the work on Google Assistant and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based cooling server warehouses. June report by company’s healthcare board states that DeepMind is not earning any money from its health department yet.
Coming to academic donations, the filings state that DeepMind has spent £8.1 million for such purpose. When asked for proof, a spokeswoman claimed that “to support AI research initiatives” the firm had given donations to University of Alberta, New York University, and University College London, Imperial. The grants were given without any condition, she added, and noted that all educational organizations have revealed their donations publicly.
“We’re on a long-term scientific mission to solve intelligence and use it to benefit the world, and we’re really proud of the impact our work is already having in areas from healthcare to energy,” Demis Hassabis, co-creator and CEO of DeepMind, said in his speech.
He further said:
“Since our founding in 2010, we’ve assembled a world-class interdisciplinary team of machine learning experts, neuroscientists, engineers, ethicists and more, and created a unique environment where ambitious, long-term research can flourish. We intend to keep investing in our mission, and look forward to the scientific breakthroughs that lie ahead.”