Demis Hassabis

British former chess whizzkid who sold his firm to Google for £400m named in top ten global tech pioneers
PUBLISHED: 17:16 EST, 2 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:43 EST, 2 August 2016

A British entrepreneur who was a child prodigy at chess has been named one of the top ten tech pioneer’s in the world.

Demis Hassabis, 40, came eighth in Wired magazine’s Global 100 list of the most influential people in technology and science.

Hassabis, who is of Greek Cypriot and Singaporean descent, is the boss of Deepmind, which has led the way in artificial intelligence and was bought by Google for £400m.

He lives in Highgate, north London, with his molecular biologist wife and two sons.

He earned a PhD from Cambridge University before starting a computer games development company.

He started Deepmind in 2010 with his childhood friend Mustafa Suleyman and began developing artificial intelligence machines.

He was behind the computer which beat a human at the ancient Chinese game of Go.

Other British-based pioneers on the list included Brent Hoberman, the founder of, who was 40th, WPP boss Martin Sorrell in 47th, Niklas Zennstrom, who runs tech firm Atomico, in 53rd, and Sir Richard Branson in 62nd.

Top of Wired’s list was Elon Musk, who runs the Tesla electric self-driving car company.

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