Demis Hassabis was born in London in July 1976. He quickly showed academic promise and skill with board games, especially chess.
Hassabis studied Computer Science at Cambridge University. He graduated from Queens' College Cambridge with a double first-class honours degree in 1997.
In 2011 he left academia to co-found a London-based artificial intelligence startup, DeepMind Technologies, with Shane Legg, whom he met at UCL, and Mustafa Suleyman. Among other things, the company developed a computer system capable of understanding and playing an Atari computer game simply by looking at it on a screen as a human would.
DeepMind was acquired by Google for £400m in order to add technology and talent to Google's core business of search. Google uses AI to understand search queries providing context awareness and allowing users to talk to the computer as they would a human, whether by voice or using a keyboard.
The Guardian listed 15 facts about Demis, here are my favourite ones:
- Accelerated through school, he completed his A-level exams two years early.
- He began his career in video games at British studio Bullfrog Productions, co-designing and lead programming on the classic game Theme Park at 17 years of age.
- Hassabis was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2009 for his influential game-design work and contribution to the games industry.