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Google snaps up object recognition startup DNNresearch

Google has acquired a research startup founded within the University of Toronto, whose work includes object recognition.

Google has acquired a three-person Canadian research company that specializes in voice and image recognition.

DNNresearch, which was founded last year within the the University of Toronto's computer science department, specializes in object recognition and now belongs to Google.

As part of the deal, which was first reported by TechVibes, Google gets the technology and founder university professor Geoffrey Hinton, along with two graduate students -- Alex Krizhevsky and Ilya Sutskever.

"Geoffrey Hinton's research is a magnificent example of disruptive innovation with roots in basic research," University of Toronto President David Naylor said in a statement. "The discoveries of brilliant researchers, guided freely by their expertise, curiosity, and intuition, lead eventually to practical applications no one could have imagined, much less requisitioned."

Google previously awarded Hinton's research group $600,000, the University of Toronto added.

Google declined to comment on the deal.

The acquisition is Google's second this year. Last month the tech giant announced plans to acquire e-commerce firmChannel Intelligence for $125 million to bolster its own online shopping tools. DNNresearch joins a handful of other recognition-related companies Google has picked up over the years, including Viewdle last October, and PittPatt and SayNow in 2011.

In case you're curious, here's a one-hour talk Hinton gave last June that was posted by Google about "brains, sex, and machine learning":