Google roundup: Jefferies PT hike, DeepMind, Glass

|By:, SA News Editor

Jefferies has upped its Google (GOOG +1.8%) PT to $1,300 from $1,150 ahead of Thursday's Q4 report. Citing ad partner data, traffic trends, and the firm's product listing ad study, the firm thinks Google's search ad business was "firing on all cylinders" in Q4. Expectations have risen a bit since Google delivered strong Q3 results in October.

Following up on its initial report about Google's acquisition of A.I. startup DeepMind, re/code reports DeepMind was working on at least three products: "A game with very advanced game AI, a smarter recommendation system for online commerce and something to do with images."

Meanwhile, an early investor gushes about DeepMind's talent. "If anyone builds something remotely resembling artificial general intelligence, this will be the team ... Think Manhattan Project for AI."

Google has already been investing heavily in A.I., a technology that arguably touches everything from Google Now to self-driving cars to Nest's thermostats to Boston Dynamics' robots. Google has already hired inventor/futurist Ray Kurzweil to help create a deep learning algorithm to help decipher the meanings of natural-language search queries and article texts. DeepMind's team could assist with that effort.

In partnership with health insurance provider VSP (previous), Google has rolled out $225 prescription glass frames that work with Google Glass. There's still no word on when Glass itself will see a full commercial launch.