The 10 tech companies that have invested the most money in AI

Of the tech giants, Google is the biggest investor in AI by billions.

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  • Google has invested the most in artificial intelligence (AI) out of the tech giants, according to research from RS Components.
  • Since the first acquisition in 1998, tech giants have spent nearly $8.6 billion on AI startups.

Google has invested the most money in artificial intelligence (AI), according to research from RS Components. Tech giants have disclosed nearly $8.6 billion in acquisitions since 1998.

The company has spent nearly $3.9 billion in disclosed deals since 2006, with the bulk of that spent in its 2014 acquisition of Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. The Nest Labs purchase was the single largest disclosed investment on RS Components' list, which includes 103 startup purchases across 15 tech giants.

Here are the top 10 tech companies based on how much they've spent acquiring AI startups where the price was disclosed.

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1. Google - $3.9 billion

2. Amazon - $871 million

3. Apple - $786 million

4. Intel - $776 million

5. Microsoft - $690 million

6. Uber - $680 million

7. Twitter - $629 million

8. AOL - $191.7 million

9. Facebook - $60 million

10. Salesforce - $32.8 million

Google continued its domination in total number of acquired startups, investing in 29 since its first, Neven Vision, in 2006. Apple grabbed second with 14, and Microsoft was third with nine.

Microsoft was the first to invest in AI, spending $40 million on Firefly Network in 1998. Google was next to invest, but didn't do so for another eight years.

Here are the eight single biggest disclosed investments in AI startups to date.

1. Nest Labs - $3.2 billion

2. Kiva Systems - $775 million

3. Otto - $680 million

4. Deep Mind - $500 million

5. TellApart - $479 million

6. Movidius - $400 million

7. Nervana - $350 million

8. SwiftKey - $250 million

The pace and price of startup acquisitions are unlikely to drop as AI continues to grow as a technology.

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Image: iStockphoto/SpVVK