Google's DeepMind keeps pinching talent from investment banks

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DeepMind, the Google artificial intelligence division that has just found a way to predict protein folding, is hiring. At the end of 2017, it had 700 staff, up from around 100 three years earlier. It currently has 58 jobs open, of which 20 are in London. Banks may want to get defensive - DeepMind has a habit of hiring their technology staff.

The latest DeepMind hire is Elena Buchatskaya, a former credit strat from Goldman Sachs. Buchatskaya joined Deepmind this month after three years at Goldman and two years at J.P. Morgan. She graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 2010 and took an MA in economics and econometrics at Russia's new school. In moving to DeepMind, Buchatskaya appears to be pivoting away from finance.

She's not the only one. DeepMind has hired various people with a finance background in London, including a former J.P. Morgan software developer who's now working on its machine learning infrastructure, a former Goldman equities strat who's now working on the same TensorFlow team, and a quantitative analyst from Bank of America's model risk team who's now a research engineer at the Google subsidiary.

Notably, few of DeepMind's London finance hires have a PhD - most are simply qualified to masters level, even though DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said last year that 400 of his 700 staff were PhD qualified.

For the year ending in December 2017, DeepMind's UK wage bill was £201m, up from £105m the previous year. The company made an operating loss of £279m (up from £124m one year earlier) and paid an estimated £280k ($363k) per head.

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