Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the merger of two entities to form a new business unit dedicated to developing the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) breakthroughs and products. The new unit, Google DeepMind, was formed by merging the Brain team from Google Research and DeepMind, a London-based AI company that Google acquired in 2014. The newly formed business unit aims to accelerate the company’s progress in developing AI in a safe and responsible manner.
By combining Google’s AI talent into one focused team, Pichai aims to “significantly accelerate our progress in AI.” Jeff Dean, the chief scientist for Google Research and Google DeepMind, has been given the task of building a series of powerful, multimodal AI models. He will report directly to Pichai.
The move aims to align Google’s AI efforts more closely with the company’s core business, as well as to address concerns about the responsible use of AI. DeepMind is well known for its work on AlphaGo, a computer program that defeated the world champion in the board game Go, and for its contributions to the development of AI ethics and safety.
The restructuring will also help Google compete with other technology giants that are investing heavily in AI research and development, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. The new unit, Google DeepMind, is expected to play a crucial role in the company’s ongoing efforts to develop breakthrough AI products and services.