Google confirms acquisition of data science community Kaggle

Kaggle brings a wealth of data and machine learning scientists to the Google fold.

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(Image: Kaggle)

Amid rumours, Google has confirmed the acquisition of Kaggle, a community platform full of data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts.

On Wednesday, Google said in a blog post that Kaggle will be joining Google Cloud, in which the skills of Kaggle's team will be put to use in machine learning training and deployment services, as well as dataset storage and query technologies.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded in 2010, Kaggle has been used by over 800,000 data scientists to explore, understand, and contribute to machine learning and data analytics since its inception.

The Kaggle community has worked together to utilize machine learning for everything from essay marking to diagnosing heart failure. Last August, Kaggle launched an open data platform in which scientists have contributed a range of datasets relating to everything from credit card fraud to H-1B Visa petitions and tsunami wave rates.

While some buyouts result in startups and small teams being disbanded, in Kaggle's case, the team will remain together. According to Kaggle CEO Anthony Goldbloom, the platform will remain a distinct brand under the Google Cloud umbrella, and the platform will remain open to "data scientists, companies, techniques and technologies."

In addition, Kaggle competitions and open data services will not be affected.

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"Kaggle Kernels will continue to support a diverse ecosystem of machine learning libraries and packages supported by Google as well as those outside of Google's toolkit," Goldbloom said. "Making Google Cloud technology available to our community will allow us to offer access to powerful infrastructure, scalable training and deployment services and the ability to store and query large data sets."

Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist of Google Cloud AI and Machine Learning, added that democratizing AI is important, and the acquisition of Kaggle will help Google "lower the barriers of entry to AI and make it available to the largest community of developers, users and enterprises, so they can apply it to their own unique needs."

In related news, IBM and Salesforce announced a new partnership this week that aims to bring together the data analytics and machine learning capabilities of IBM's Watson supercomputer and the Salesforce Einstein AI platform.

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