UK CYPRIOT Demis Hassabis, co-founder of an artificial intelligence company, who this year sold his firm to Internet giant Google for €300m, has come third on the London Evening Standard’s ‘Power List’ for 2014, along with the likes of Amal Clooney at number four and Stephen Hawking at 17.
“London may be well known for fashion, food, politics and the arts but one function of our list is to draw attention to the capital’s hidden strengths, and that, nowadays, includes science and technology, not least because of London’s brilliant universities,” the Standard said.
“This paper’s annual list of the 1,000 most influential people in the capital is not merely an index of the rich, the powerful and the beautiful; it is a register of what makes the capital tick,” it added.
Hassabis, a former child chess prodigy and neuroscientist, attained legendary status in the computer gaming industry earlier in his career.
At 17, he co-designed and was lead programmer on the classic Theme Park with famous game designer Peter Molyneux.
Hassabis, who is in his late thirties, started his professional games career at the age of 16 and after getting his degree at Cambridge, he founded and ran his own 60-person development studio, called Elixir Studios in 1998, producing games for Microsoft and Vivendi Universal. He has contributed to many best-selling and award-winning games.
Attaining a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London in 2009, Hassabis left academia in 2012 to found DeepMind Technology. He has published influential papers on memory and amnesia.