Google is keen to enhance its artificial intelligence technologies, and in the same spirit, it has acquired Kaggle. Founded in 2010 by Anthony Goldbloom and Ben Hamner and headquartered in San Francisco, Kaggle is a common platform on which data miners and researchers are pitted against each other.
Google more interested in Kaggle’s community
By acquiring Kaggle, the search giant gets a ready pool of one of the largest and most active data scientist communities in the world. Earlier this month, Google and Kaggle came together to conduct a machine learning competition around classifying YouTube videos. Prizes for the winning teams were kept at $30,000 and, for the next four teams, $25,000, $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000.
Within the competition, developers were asked to classify and tag the videos from Google’s updated YouTube-8M V2 data set. There were about 7 million YouTube videos in total, adding up to 450,000 hours of video.
After the acquisition, Kaggle might still be doing what it is doing right now without its name being changed, notes TechCrunch. Google is probably more interested in Kaggle’s community than its technology.
Kaggle is known for coming up with some of the most interesting tools. For instance, Kaggle Kernels is a source code which analyzes data sets, and thereafter, developers can share the code on the platform. Kaggle also has a job board, although how it is going to benefit Google is not known for now.
Cruncbase reported that Kaggle has raised $12.5 million since it was launched in 2010. Early investors in the data mining platform include SV Angel, Index Ventures, Max Levchin, Naval Ravikant, Google’s chief economist Hal Varian, Khosla Ventures and Yuri Milner.
Google wants to stay ahead in AI
Google’s efforts in the direction of artificial intelligence (AI) are quite clear, as it recently released a programming tool called Perspective. This tool assists editors in moderating discussions by weeding out foul troll comments, which leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Earlier this week, Edison Investment Research suggested that Google parent company Alphabet is in a better position in terms of AI, even outperforming Facebook. Alphabet released its own voice-activated digital assistant, Google Home, in November.
According to the market trackers, while Amazon had sold over 6 million Echo devices as of the end of 2016, Google shipped 500,000 devices amid breakneck competition from Apple, Amazon and Facebook. All four companies have dedicated units working on digital assistants and artificial intelligence.
Hopefully, Kaggle’s acquisition will further raise the the search giant’s lead.