MEET DEMIS HASSABIS
London-based DeepMind Technologies is an artificial intelligence company inspired by neuroscience, which was recently acquired by Google. Demis is a former chess prodigy, who finished his A-levels two years early before coding the multi-million selling simulation game, Theme Park, aged 17. Following graduation from Cambridge University with a double first in computer science, he founded the video games company Elixir Studios. Demis recently returned to academia to complete a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at UCL.
Before embarking on his artificial intelligence research career, Demis Hassabis was a well-known UK video game designer and AI programmer. He started his professional games career at the age of 16 by working at the legendary Bullfrog Productions. After getting his degree at Cambridge, he joined the newly founded Lionhead Studios.
In 1998, Hassabis founded and ran his own 60-person development studio, called Elixir Studios, producing games for Microsoft and Vivendi Universal. His company contributed to many best-selling and award-winning games over a successful 10-year career, including: "Syndicate" (1993), "Theme Park" (1994), "Black & White" (2001), "Republic" (2003), and "Evil Genius" (2004).
In 2011, Hassabis co-founded and was CEO of DeepMind Technologies, a London-based machine learning startup, specializing in building general-purpose learning algorithms. In January of 2014, DeepMind was acquired by Google for a approximately $625 million. Hassabis is now Vice President of Engineering leading their general AI projects.
Hassabis also plays many games to an accomplished level including chess, shogi and poker. He even won the World Games Championships at the Mind Sports Olympiad a record five times before retiring from competitive play in 2003.