Shropshire Star

Video games can boost children’s creativity, says knighted DeepMind co-founder

Sir Demis Hassabis received a knighthood for his services to AI on Thursday.


The co-founder of Google-owned artificial intelligence (AI) firm DeepMind has said children should be encouraged to play video games because it can help to boost their creativity.

Sir Demis Hassabis said his own experiences gaming had played a part in his success as a computer scientist and entrepreneur.

He sold DeepMind to Google for a reported £400 million in 2014.

It was announced he had received a knighthood for his services to AI on Thursday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Demis said: “It’s important to feed the creative part, not just playing them (games).”

“You never know where your passions lead, so I would actually just encourage parents to get their children really passionate about things, and then develop their skills through that.”

Sir Demis said children needed to prepare and adapt for what will be a “very fast-changing world” and should “just embrace that adaptability”.

AI safety summit
Sir Demis attended the AI safety summit at Bletchley Park in November (Toby Melville/PA)

The 47-year-old founded DeepMind in 2010 after studying at Cambridge University before it was bought by Google four years later.

The company develops algorithms and machine programmes that learn how to play video games and navigate e-commerce like humans.

Sir Demis was formerly an adviser to the Government’s Office for Artificial Intelligence and took part in the coronavirus scientific advisory group to aid its response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

He also joined discussions with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year about the need for regulation in AI.

Reacting to news of his royal honour on Thursday, he posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Delighted and honoured to receive a Knighthood for services to AI.

“It’s been an incredible journey so far building @GoogleDeepMind over the past 15 years, helping accelerate the field and grow the UK & global AI ecosystems. Thanks to everyone who helped make this dream possible!”

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