Google DeepMind Scientists Consider Formation of AI Startup “Holistic” in Paris with €200 Million Funding Round

Scientists at Google DeepMind, a division of Alphabet specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), are reportedly in talks with investors to establish an AI startup in Paris. The proposed venture, tentatively named “Holistic,” is said to be exploring a financing round that could exceed €200 million (approximately Rs. 1,800 crore), signaling significant interest in the AI field.

Laurent Sifre and Karl Tuyls, both scientists at DeepMind, are allegedly in discussions to lead the new startup. Sifre, known for co-authoring the 2016 DeepMind research on Go—a groundbreaking achievement in AI when a computer system defeated human masters of the ancient game—brings considerable expertise to the venture. Tuyls has contributed to research in game theory and multi-agent reinforcement learning, an AI branch exploring interactions between autonomous actors, often through video games.

While the scientists have not responded to requests for comments, sources suggest that the startup may be focused on developing a new AI model. Their departure from DeepMind has reportedly been communicated, according to an insider.

The potential funding round for Holistic is notably large, even within the dynamic AI landscape. The initiative reflects strong investor interest in AI technology, particularly in France, where significant funds have been channeled into startups emerging from Parisian universities and AI hubs of Silicon Valley firms.

The discussed funding for Holistic contrasts with Holistic AI, an enterprise software business based in London. The proposed French startup joins the ranks of other AI-focused ventures in the region, such as Mistral AI—an OpenAI rival that raised substantial funding rounds and achieved a valuation of approximately $2 billion by the end of 2023.

This move underlines the growing momentum in AI research and development, with talented scientists and substantial funding converging to drive innovation and growth in the field.

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