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Google Poaches Oxford Brains for Artificial Intelligence Research

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The chapel in Liddon Quad of Keble College on March 22, 2012 in Oxford, England.Oli Scarff / Getty Images

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Google has visited the hallowed halls of Oxford University and come out with several of the school's most prized minds in the field of artificial intelligence. The hires comprise two teams, both of which have been pursuing research outside their normal academic duties at Oxford. Nando de Freitas, Phil Blunsom, Edward Grefenstette and Karl Moritz Hermann, four experts in natural language processing who founded Dark Blue Labs, will be augmenting Google's speech-recognition research. And Karen Simonyan, Max Jaderberg and Andrew Zisserman, co-founders of computer vision research lab Vision Factory, will be adding their expertise to the Internet giant's DeepMind team as well. DeepMind, a U.K. artificial intelligence group, was purchased by Google earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to welcome these extremely talented machine learning researchers to the Google DeepMind team and are excited about the potential impact of the advances their research will bring," reads the blog post announcing the hires. The Oxford researchers and professors will continue to hold "joint appointments" with the university, and Google will be paying into a research partnership with the Computer Science and Engineering departments there, with the aim of promoting further scholarship in the field.

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