Rumors are circulating that suggest that Google (News - Alert) has made a move to bolster their data science and machine learning departments. Many in the tech community are speculating that the conglomerate has acquired Kaggle, a company that hosts competitions in data science and machine learning. Though a spokesman from Google declined to comment on the rumors, Kaggle CEO Anthony Goldbloom would not deny that such a transaction was taking place. Google is hosting a conference this weekend for Cloud Next, so it is conceivable that an official announcement of the acquisition could come from there.
Founded in 2010, Kaggle is a massive creator of data science services, employing over 500,000 scientists. It has managed to become one of the leaders in the field by focusing on hosting competitions that drive new innovations. That competitive atmosphere has helped foster growth and refinement in the fields of data science and machine learning.
Google has had some experience working with Kaggle in the past. At the beginning of March, the two companies came together to host a competition based around classifying YouTube (News - Alert) videos using the Google Cloud platform and machine learning. The competition came with a $100,000 grand prize. Clearly, Google was pleased with the job that Kaggle did in facilitating this competition, so much so that they felt the need to add them to their already large portfolio of holdings.
From a day to day operations standpoint, not much is expected to change for Kaggle. The company will keep its name, and will remain more or less autonomous, maintaining the same principles and practices. It will just be operating under the Google umbrella.
Data science and machine learning are fields that are constantly growing and changing. Coders are always looking for ways to improve their data analytics and artificial intelligence in attempts to make the information they yield more accurate and useful. Competition tends to drive innovation, and the competitions that Kaggle hosts help create a breeding ground for those improvements to the field. Google’s acquisition of Kaggle should help them continue to improve their technology.
Edited by Alicia Young