Google’s London AI lab DeepMind is well known for creating an algorithm that beat the world’s best human at the Chinese board game Go. in the news this month for the controversial health work he does with the NHS.
But DeepMind is supposed to have a collection of other projects going on that no one knows about.
The research organization, which employs around 250 people in a low-key building in King’s Cross, written on his site that it builds self-learning algorithms that can perform a wide variety of tasks directly. The company, which was originally backed by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, also written on his site that he wants to “solve intelligence” to “make the world a better place”.
One of DeepMind’s little-known projects that was killed was an AI-powered fashion website, according to the LinkedIn profiles of several former employees.
DeepMind’s fashion website, known as KITSEE, used AI to recommend clothes to people they could then purchase. KITSEE also featured a series of fashion articles that were produced by a team of DeepMind editors.
Mo White, who worked as a Creative Director at DeepMind between May 2013 and February 2014, writes on his LinkedIn profile that she worked on “Creating KITSEE, a game-changing fashion content commerce hub that uses AI – machine vision and deep learning – to provide intelligent research and recommendations – as part of the ‘acquisition of Google “.
KITSEE appears to have been discontinued when DeepMind was acquired by Google for Â£ 400 million in January 2014, suggesting that the search giant may not have been interested in it. Several people who worked on KITSEE left DeepMind at the time of acquisition.
Google searches for “KITSEE”, “KITSEE DeepMind” and “DeepMind fashion” yield virtually no relevant results, suggesting that the platform may never have gone live. If it were put online, one would expect some sort of digital footprint to be left behind.
White, now product manager at the fashion site owned by CondÃ© Nast Style.com, who currently redirects to Vogue, writes on LinkedIn that she has been tasked with “recruiting and managing an eight-person content commerce team and working in a multi-disciplinary, cross-team product development capacity.”
DeepMind, co-founded by Demis Hassabis, Mustafa Suleyman and Shane Legg, also employed an editor to work on their fashion platform. This editor was Harriet Hawksworth, according to his LinkedIn profile, and she worked on the DeepMind fashion site between January 2014 and April 2014. She has also written on fashion for the Financial Times and now works at Style.com with White.
Lucy Morris, former “staff editor” at DeepMind, now senior fashion and news editor at Asos, writes on his LinkedIn profile that she was “part of a team building a game-changing fashion research, content and content commerce entertainment hub.” It also says it was part of Google’s Â£ 400million acquisition.
Morris, who worked at DeepMind from September 2013 to September 2014, writes on her profile that she helped “guide the direction of content by setting the tone and style of the news and fashion coverage of the website.” . She adds: âI was intrinsic to the implementation of the site’s social media vision. I also manage the interns of the team.
Business Insider was able to find a number of former DeepMind employees, which is interesting considering no one has ever left the company, according to The Guardian.
Jane Gorley, a former employee of luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter and former editor at The Telegraph, worked on the DeepMind fashion site on an unspecified date from 2014 to October 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. Gorley is also working at Style.com now.
DeepMind also employed fashion guru Caroline Nitsch as a freelance art director between September 2013 and April 2014. Prior to DeepMind, Nitsch worked at UK fashion retailer Asos. After DeepMind, she worked for Amazon and CondÃ© Nast.
DeepMind also had a former e-commerce executive in 2013 called Rod Anthony, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Google DeepMind declined to comment.
Business Insider reached out to several members of DeepMind’s former fashion team to try to find out more about the website and to determine why DeepMind decided to stop working on it. A former DeepMind employee said, âI am legally not in a position to discuss this project. “