Meet the most influential British innovator in the world

Lynsey Barber
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Demis Hassabis is the top Brit in Wired's Global 100 list (Source: Getty)

Demis Hassabis, the man who founded the multi-million pound artificial intelligence company acquired by Google, has been named the most influential British innovator in the world.

DeepMind hit headlines in 2014 when it was bought by Google for £400m and this year did it again when its machine learning technology beat the world-leading player of the chess-like game Go.

The entrepreneur and neuroscientist has been named the top Brit by Wired magazine in its first Global 100 list, ranking the influencers "shaping our culture, the tech economy, consumer behaviour and scientific discovery".

Read more: Three things Google's DeepMind boss said about AI

He was ranked eighth overall based on the thoughts of a network of top entrepreneurs, investors, scientists policymakers and key influencers, published in the latest issue.

Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX and more, was named the top global influencer, followed by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Apple boss Tim Cook .

The top influencer based in Europe – and the top woman in the rankings – at number seven, was hardline competition chief Margarethe Vestager, who has cracked down on the activities of some of the top US tech companies, the founders of which she is among on the list.

Wired's Top 5 global influencers in the UK

1. Demis Hassabis (8)


2. Brent Hoberman (40)


3. Martin Sorrell (47)


4. Nicklas Zennstrom (53)


5. Richard Branson (62)


In addition to DeepMind's human beating AlphaGo, the once-secretive company has been publishing papers on various areas of AI research it has been working on recently.

That includes beating classic 80s games like Atari and working with a London hospital to halt blindness. It also applied its AI technology to cut Google's electricity by 40 per cent.

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