Google has acquired an artificial intelligence company called DeepMind for $400m, as the firm continues to spend on new business areas.
DeepMind, which is based in London, says it uses "machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms".
The purchase would seem to fit with other recent deals made by Google, notably robotics firm Boston Dynamics in December 2013 and motion control startup Flutter back in October.
Google confirmed the deal had gone ahead but did not provide any more insight when contacted.
Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, said the company was excited to be joining Google as it looks to accelerate its growth.
"This partnership will allow us to turbo-charge our mission to harness the power of machine learning tools to tackle some of society's toughest problems, and help make our everyday lives more productive and enjoyable," he said.
"We've built a world-leading team here in the UK and we're looking forward to accelerating the impact of our technology with Google."
The DeepMind website also has no information on the deal, but its current front page shows the firm was looking to expand, with a call for new applicants for roles at the company.
"If you want to be part of a world-class team working on ground-breaking technology in an inspiring and collaborative environment then please get in touch," it says.
The deal comes in the same month that Google announced it was paying $2.3bn for home gadget company Nest Labs to help it to develop its business in the 'connected homes' space. Google appears keen to ensure it does not miss any of the current trends emerging in new areas of the market.
It also marks yet another high-price deal in the market as numerous deals are signed off in the first month of 2014. This has seen FireEye pay $1bn for Mandiant and Lenovo picked up IBM's server business for $2.3bn.
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