Nearly five years after Alphabet purchased DeepMind, an AI-focused technology entity, it is still continuing to report massive losses on the subsidiary. Yesterday DeepMind released its latest strategic report, revealing that its losses for the financial year were £470 million, or roughly $571 million.
Deep Mind has been heavily involved in the healthcare space, using its AI platform for diagnosis. The UK-based subsidiary has teamed up with the country's National Health Services in the past.
While the expenses increased, the revenue also increased, noted Bloomberg, which first spotted the news. The subsidiary reported that its technical fee services increased from £54.4 million to £102.8 million, according to the report.
“Machine learning research and application is an emerging market characterized by continuous change and intense competition,” the strategic report reads. “As a result, the Company will continue to face risks and uncertainties, which may have significant impact on its ability to achieve continued success within its market. To mitigate this risk the Company follows a well-informed risk based approach for decision making.”
WHY IT MATTERS
It’s no secret tech giants like Google, Amazon and Apple have becoming increasingly interested in the healthcare game. But where exactly that will lead is still one of the many unknowns. DeepMind continues to be one of Google’s big bets. The AI company has made a slew of major partnerships, including with the NHS and the Department of Veterans Affairs in the US.
Studies are also showing that the technology could be impactful in early diagnosis and detection. For example, last August Nature Medicine published results of a study that demonstrated DeepMind’s AI system was able to diagnose eye disease as accurately as leading human specialists. More recently, Nature published study results of DeepMind’s Stream system, which was able detect acute kidney injury (AKI) two days before it happens.
THE LARGER TREND
DeepMind has not been without controversy. Shortly after DeepMind inked a deal with the NHS , an investigative report from the New Scientist revealed that Google would have access to a wealth of health data without consent from patients. DeepMind and the NHS announced a new agreement addressing the data concerns before the year’s end, although an independent panel report released in July of the next year still shared some concerns.
More recently, the subsidiary was at the heart of a class action lawsuit against Google and the University of Chicago Medical Center, which accused the partners of violating patients privacy following a data agreement inked between the two.The author of the suit linked the patient data agreement to Google’s acquisition of artificial intelligence company DeepMind, and suggests that this technology has the ability to make connections within the health records.