Google started hosting a machine learning contest geared towards video recognition last month with the help of data science and machine learning community Kaggle, and recent rumors suggest that the Mountain View-based company is now even looking to acquire Kaggle. The information comes from industry sources who were light on the details as details on the alleged transaction are currently unknown. Kaggle will reportedly continue doing business as usual following the transaction, sources say. Google and Kaggle declined to comment on this rumor, TechCrunch reports.
Google and Kaggle's history is relatively limited. Aside from the aforementioned video recognition competition, the only real history they have pertains to Google's tools and technologies such as TensorFlow showing up on Kaggle in contests. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Google's chief economist Hal Varian has invested in the platform in the past. Kaggle, like most other data science communities that host competitions is also a job hub. There are a few other platforms out there that are similar to Kaggle, but with around $12.5 million raised since its 2010 inception and a member count approaching one million, Kaggle is one of the largest such communities on the Internet and is certainly a tempting acquisition for many tech giants.
Kaggle was founded by Anthony Goldbloom and Ben Hamner back in 2010 and despite its humble beginnings, the online community experienced some massive growth over the years. Given its high member count and the fact that its setup allows companies to poach top performers in a variety of contests, Kaggle virtually became the main online platform for contests involving things like data science, coding, and machine learning. Kaggle's cohesive community has also created a number of field-related, repurposable tool sets over the years, which the company calls kernels. Kernels contain a variety of common data tools and more specific user creations which users keep in their profiles as a part of a portfolio that they can show to hiring managers on the site's job board. The large community and wealth of Kaggle-owned coding tools is likely an attractive asset for Google, but for the time being, this potential acquisition is strictly a rumor.