DeepMind's financials hint just how much tech giants are willing to spend on top AI talent

Demis Hassabis and David Silver DeepMindDeepMindDeepMind programmer David Silver (left) and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis (right).

The race among tech companies to hire the brightest minds to work in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) is an expensive one.

Alphabet-owned DeepMind spent a whopping £104.8 million on “staff costs and other related costs” last year, according to a document filed with Companies House this week.

The exact employee headcount at DeepMind is unclear but the number is believed to be somewhere between 500 and 600. Assuming it’s 600, the average salary at DeepMind would work out at £175,000 if the “other related costs” weren’t involved.

The other related costs include payroll, incidental costs like travel, hardware and software, and other support costs for employees. Seeing as they’re bundled in, it’s impossible to determine just how much DeepMind pays its staff but sources with links to the company told Business Insider that they knew of DeepMinders earning salaries in excess of £100,000.

A DeepMind spokesperson said: “We’re really proud that some of the world’s most exciting AI research and real-world application is taking place right here in London.

“We intend to keep investing in our scientific mission, and to work with the world’s brightest minds to tackle society’s most complex problems.”

DeepMind, which was acquired by Google in 2014 for a reported £400 million, made a loss of £164 million in total in 2016, a significant increase on the £54 million loss it posted in 2015.

However, the company, brought in revenue for the first time in 2016, recording a turnover of £40 million. The turnover relates to the DeepMind’s projects with Google.

The document also highlights that DeepMind spent £1.4 million on Imperial College spin out Hark Health.

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