Tip of the Hat: Seeking a method to Google's acquisition madness

A reasoned look at Google's strong interest in -- and willingness to pay billions of dollars for -- robotics and AI technology
  • Mike Bucken (Computerworld (US))
  • 28 January, 2014 21:19

Google in recent months has agreed to use billions of dollars gained in profits from its wildly successful search and advertising business to buy an array of companies developing artificial technology and robotics technologies.

Observers have offered explanations for the individual acquisitions, including robotics firm Boston Dynamics, Nest, a maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors, and secretive AI tech developer DeepMind Technologies.

But it's unclear whether Google has a long-range plan for the technologies or is testing an array of potential new businesses to see what works.

A Computerworld Tip of the Hat to Forbes contributor Reuven Cohen for his effort to find "a method to its apparent madness" by seeking answers to What's Driving Google's Obsession With Artificial Intelligence And Robots?

He concludes that the company's acquisition strategy "may very well be about building better models of the world so they can make more accurate predictions about future outcomes," which is vital to its new businesses like self-driving cars as well as its search engine.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.