DailyPost 1054 


Demis Hassabis, the legendary founder of DeepMind, marks a new age of scientific and technological evolution of mankind with his variant of Artificial Intelligence, making this as latest inflection point in its history. Science magazine named one of his creations AlphaGo as one of the ”Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2016,” marks the beginning of the Interdisciplinary Age in the digital evolution of mankind. Even the master player of Go is not in position to completely explain the logic of any given move. This for Demis Hassabis was an ideal challenge.

AlphaGo, creation of Demis Hassabis went on became the first computer program in human history to defeat a professional Go player and that too defeat a Go world champion and arguably the strongest Go player in history. This was as much as a feat for AI, as for the interdisciplinary background of Demis Hassabis and that if this diverse expertise is put into practice it can be productified. A child and a chess prodigy, he was a recognised chessmaster by the age of 13. He loved games employing logic and strategy. He enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of chess but wanted to apply his skills to a larger area. This led to his decision to pursue artificial intelligence. He has contributed to many bestselling games like Syndicate, Theme Park, Black & White, Republic and Evil Genius.

Computer Science Tripos from Cambridge, he went on to pursue cognitive neuroscience doctoral at University College, London. Unstoppable, both in academics and practice, he went ahead to pursue postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and MIT. His demonstrated neurological connection between functions of imagination and episodic memory speaks volumes of his caliber to do academic research. The founding of a business company DeepMind and running it successfully in a frontier area of technology, so as to be sold for 400 million pounds to Google, proves him an entrepreneurial genius.

An out and out interdisciplinary man determined to merge R&D end to end from academic to professionally commercial to a takeaway product. ”The big breakthrough and new companies that are going to be created in the future are interdisciplinary ones”, he said. Connecting disparate subjects will keep happening delivering big breakthroughs.


Sanjay Sahay

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