Google Merges AI Research Teams, Forms Google DeepMind

April 19, 2024
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Google has taken a significant step in advancing its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts by consolidating its two major AI research divisions. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the creation of a new team called “Google DeepMind,” which combines the expertise of the Google Brain team and Alphabet’s AI subsidiary, DeepMind.

“By creating Google DeepMind, I believe we can get to that future faster. Building ever more capable and general AI, safely and responsibly, demands that we solve some of the hardest scientific and engineering challenges of our time,” said DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis.

“Through Google DeepMind, we are bringing together our world-class talent in AI with the computing power, infrastructure and resources to create the next generation of AI breakthroughs and products across Google and Alphabet, and to do this in a bold and responsible way,” he added.

DeepMind, founded in 2010 by Hassabis, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman, rose to prominence for its pioneering work in AI. Acquired by Google in 2014 for $500 million, DeepMind’s achievements include developing AI capable of defeating human professional Go players and predicting complex protein structures.

Google Brain, on the other hand, emerged in 2011 as a collaboration between Jeff Dean, Greg Corrado, and Stanford University professor Andrew Ng. This team created the AI model creation framework TensorFlow and made significant contributions to Google Translate, among other accomplishments.

Now, with Google DeepMind, the two teams will work closely together. The goal is to leverage their combined talent, computing power, and resources to drive the next wave of AI breakthroughs across Google and Alphabet.

Google DeepMind will collaborate with various Google product areas, delivering both AI research and innovative products.

Key Points About the Consolidation

  • Leadership Changes: Koray Kavukcuoglu, VP of research at DeepMind, will lead Google DeepMind. Eli Collins, VP of products at Google Research, will become VP of products at Google DeepMind. Zoubin Ghahramani, previously leading Google Brain, joins the Google DeepMind research leadership team. Jeff Dean, co-founder of Google Brain, will be the chief scientist for both Google Research and Google DeepMind, reporting directly to Sundar Pichai.
  • Research Oversight: Google will establish a scientific board to oversee research progress and guide the unit’s direction. Focus areas include advances in computer science, privacy and security, quantum computing, health, climate, sustainability, and responsible AI.
  • Bold and Responsible Innovation: Demis Hassabis highlighted that Google DeepMind’s combined efforts will lead to breakthroughs with significant societal impact. The team aims to create AI solutions responsibly, pushing the boundaries of technology while addressing various societal challenges.

The formation of Google DeepMind signals a major shift in the tech giant’s AI strategy, promising exciting developments and advancements in the field. As the new team progresses, the world awaits the potential impact these AI innovations may bring.

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